Nicolas Cage. Love him or adore him utterly, he remains an enigma coddled in a mystery shrouded in a bad wig. Every now and then he helps make a brilliant film, but often he mumbles his way through an undernourished premise, reducing the audience to sympathetic laughter as he dies in the embrace of a computer-enhanced Ragnarok.
Here at Den of Geek, we love Nicolas Cage. We have fantasies of going paintballing in North Wales together, sharing a cottage, drinking Purple Moose, and being led around Portmeirion while Nic waxes lyrical about his love of The Prisoner. Put simply, we want Nicolas Cage to be happy, so we have devised four films that we think Nic would love making, and that we would love to watch him in.
A title, a director, a supporting cast, and a handy plot summary for four future hits await you all. Genre is no barrier, but we are not out for sequels or remakes here. Everyone wants to see Face/Off 2: Face On happen, and nobody wants to see another Wicker Man. Instead, these are original(ish) ideas(ish) that we intend to fax to Nicolas himself, as soon as we are drunk enough to be maudlin.
No Lawful Impediment
Director: Terry GilliamSupporting cast: John C Reilly, Emile Hirsch, Kristen Stewart.
Nicolas Cage plays a slick lawyer who mocks a witness he is cross-examining for having a burr, ultimately winning him the case. Cage fails to see the error of his ways, but then fate intervenes when he cuts his tongue on an envelope, and finds out what it’s like to have a massive lisp with a big case imminent. Perhaps this is more standard Oscar fare than we’re used to seeing Nic in recently, but the emotional journey calls for the raw anger and naked emotion that anyone who has seen Leaving Las Vegas will tell you about.
If you want to make this film work as a drama, you need someone like Cage who can play the lead with complete sincerity, with John C Reilly as his unreformed best buddy, Kristen Stewart as his daughter, and Hirsch as the young up-and-comer making a name for himself at the firm, idolising Cage but trying to keep his relationship with his daughter a secret.
Terry Gilliam’s work on The Fisher King makes him ideal for telling this story, dealing with a core group of damaged characters as they seek redemption. Plus it’d give the film an interesting visual texture. The result? Intriguingly Silly Premise + Straight Drama + Flights of Fantasy = Pure Bloody Oscar Bait.
The Man They Couldn’t Kill
Director: Werner HerzogSupporting Cast: Michael Sheen, Olivia Coleman, Freddie Highmore
Nicolas Cage is Rasputin.
What do you mean, you want more?
You want more than the man who directed Cage in his most batshit crazy (why is batshit crazy, especially compared with other kinds of faeces?) role of recent years, and who isn’t unversed in dabbling with insanity himself, telling the tale of the Mad Monk? The role which gained the famously normal Tom Baker the job of playing the Fourth Doctor? With Michael Sheen as Emperor Nicolas II, Olivia Coleman as Empress Alexandra and Freddie Highmore as their haemophiliac son Alexei?
I refuse to give you more. You’d only complain about it when you should be staring at your ceiling at four in the morning, barely breathing except to say “Oh my actual God. That film was amazing.”
Director: Joe CarnahanSupporting Cast: Rosario Dawson, Elizabeth Olsen, Hank Azaria, Rosamund Pike, Stephen Graham
Nicolas Cage is Dirk Anger, director of the Highest Anti-Terrorist Effort, who employ the Nextwave team to find Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (U.W.M.Ds). Nextwave find out that H.A.T.E. is actually funded by the Beyond Corporation, formerly the terrorist group S.I.L.E.N.T.
This one was quite easy to come up with, because Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen did nearly all of the work in their 2006 – 2007 comic series Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E. For those of you unlucky enough never to have read it, Nextwave is a comic that eschews plot, depth, and character development in favour of superheroes hitting things until they explode, saying silly things, and fighting genetic experiments such as killer koalas, all sent at them by deviant war bastard and possible allegory Dirk Anger. See if you can guess which of the supporting cast is playing which Nextwave team member. If you’ve never read it then remember: you are on the internet.
Joe Carnahan knows mayhem. He knows Liam Neeson punching a wolf in the face. Maybe he fumbled the characterisation element of his last film a little. Nextwave is the solution.
NB: This film will definitely never happen. Marvel are unlikely to sanction it any time soon, and given the inevitable silliness, fun and obvious brilliance it could result in, it would doubtless be pilloried by critics and subjected to a similar fate to Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.
Director: Luc BessonSupporting Cast: Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson and Nicolas Cage.
I swear I had more ideas for this one a second ago. Then I typed ‘Liam Neeson and Nicolas Cage’ and was overcome by visions wonder. When I first saw Taken it was after a lot of hype, and it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be (it is, essentially, a fairly standard plot enabling a half-hour montage of Liam Neeson kicking terrorists really hard in the shins), so I propose a film as good as the one I had in my head when I sat down to watch Taken.
Trenchcoats, fedoras, smoke and steam laden streets, neon, betrayal and backstabbings. People saying, “I like you kid, you got moxie.” That sort of thing. And also a high bullet deadliness quotient. And an unbearably tense scene involving improvised espionage.
Also I propose a cameo from Halle Berry that goes roughly along the lines of her appearance in The Last Boy Scout.
I don’t technically have any ideas for plot, setting or characters yet, but then neither did Pirates Of The Carribean 3 and that still made shitloads of money.
There is no reason to stop here. Hollywood executives may very well be reading this article and stealing ideas from it at this very moment. If you want your brilliant idea stolen, or want to come up with your ideal Nicolas Cage film, then please provide us with your visions below, or use the hashtag #niccagefilms on Twitter.
I will now sit back and await the inevitable suggestion for a film called, “I don’t like Nicolas Cage my god how low this website has sunk I am off to Blastr until they too publish something that irks and annoys me”.