Nicolas Cage seems to have a very wild process for deciding the movies he will star in from year to year. He has plenty of top notch work throughout his career, but every few years there’s a Season Of The Witch or a Sorcerer’s Apprentice thrown into the mix to make us question his sanity (Left Behind is another good mention here). But what if Cage went through with his alleged offer to be in The Matrix? Better yet, what if Nic Cage played Strider/Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy? Both almost happened.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, Cage revealed that he had offers on the table to star in both Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation and The Wachowski’s futuristic cyberpunk trilogy. The problem was he was forced to turn them down, likely changing film history and providing the closest thing to a regret that Cage actually has weighing on his soul (if he even still owns one):
I don’t really have any regrets. I think regret is a waste of time. I try to always move forward as opposed to dwelling on the past or the movies that might have happened. There certainly were movies that I probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them…
Lord of the Rings. That trilogy. Aragorn. Or The Matrix. But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.
Viggo Mortensen made the role of Aragorn his own, but having Nic Cage play him might’ve sent the entire trilogy into the stratosphere. Motivational speeches, made up elf languages, numerous battles with orcs and ghosts all over the place, and all with Nic Cage in the lead. If Nic Cage could play every role in Game Of Thrones, he could easily play every role in Lord Of The Rings. Sadly, he had a good reason (we think) for turning it down:
Were you offered a role in that?
Yeah…. There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. And I do mean it. I get to enjoy the movies as an audience member, because I don’t watch my own movies.
I think the key thing there is that Nic Cage does not watch his own movies. It’s not weird for an actor to skip out of watching the movies or shows they’ve appeared in over the years. It’s actually pretty common. But I think by skipping out on his own movies, Cage is robbing himself of some of the greatest film experiences of our era. Con Air alone is a crime to miss, even if he lived through it. The hair, Nic! The hair!
(Via Newsweek / The AV Club)