Nicolas Cage has crossed paths with just about every nemesis under the sun: Satan (Ghost Rider), the destruction caused by terrorists (World Trade Center), crack cocaine (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans), Motley Crüe member Vince Neil (real life last month), and even himself (Face/Off, kind of). But the one threat with which the Cage has never gone toe-to-toe, or toe-to-fin for that matter, is the mighty and fearsome shark. The upcoming film USS Indianapolis: Men Of Courage, the new trailer for which has been embedded above via Variety, may outwardly appear to be a spiffed-up historical epic with the Cage leading his crewmen in an unthinkable display of heroism, strength, and courage. But in actuality, that’s all a smokescreen. This is the film where Nicolas Cage, at long last, has to fight off sharks.
In USS Indianapolis, Cage portrays Captain Charles Butler McVay, a commanding seaman tasked by none other than President Harry Truman with transporting key parts for the in-development atomic bomb to the South Pacific. On the way back home, a submarine full of highly “disciplined” (there are certainly more inflammatory coded words the script could’ve used) Japanese soldiers waiting for the perfect moment to launch a sneak attack bombs the Indianapolis and leaves its crew stranded at sea. Hundreds of the nearly 1,200-man outfit die as the ship goes down, hundreds more perish on the water from starvation, ocean-madness, and of course, shark attacks. As the trailer so generously reveals, McVay himself survives and goes on to stand trial in a martial court where it is, somehow, deemed his fault that so many men died. Military law seems weird.
Mario Van Peebles, current TV stalwart and son of reputed blaxploitation filmmaker Melvin, directs this tale of perseverance, inspiration, and shark-battling. Tom Sizemore and Jane will join Cage in the cast, though it’s really a waste to have stuck the non-Cage talent in any role but the sharks that will attack McVay and his men. Jane and Sizemore could’ve suited up in motion-capture gear, Serkis-style, and brought some actual gravitas to what will clearly be the scene-stealing roles in the film. The film debuts on May 29, at which point the Cage will have to direct his energies toward the next bullet point of his long list of asses to kick: mutant sharks.