“Drive Angry” is perhaps the Nicolas Cage-iest Nicolas Cage movie ever. The ever-unpredictable, often wacky, potentially out-of-his-gourd actor stars as a man who literally breaks out of hell to exact a bloody, muscle-car-assisted revenge plot … in 3-D. It’s deeply weird stuff, and yet, with Cage at the center of it all, it makes a whole lot of sense.
MTV News, it should be said, has been at the center of “Drive Angry” coverage, securing the very first interview about the project and continuing to track it from the first trailer to the brink of opening weekend. Read on for everything you need to know about the movie before it hits theaters Friday (February 25).
Going on the Road
Coming off the $100 million success of 2009’s “My Bloody Valentine,” director Patrick Lussier and his writing partner, Todd Farmer, asked themselves one question: “What movie do we want to see and what movie do we want to shoot in 3-D?” as Lussier later explained to us .
“We didn’t really have anything in mind beyond that,” he added. “We started writing an opening scene about a guy named Milton killing these three guys called the F—ers, who are totally scared sh–less and totally deserve it. From there, ’Drive Angry’ was born. We wanted to come up with something that wasn’t a horror movie but was just a hard-R, action-driven road movie, because that would be a great film to see in 3-D.”
Ditching any notion of converting the film to three dimensions during post-production, Lussier hauled 3-D cameras down to Shreveport, Louisiana, and began shooting in the spring of 2010. To share the screen with Cage, Lussier hired Amber Heard to play a sassy waitress who gets pulled into Cage’s scheme and William Fichtner as the agent of the devil’s evil agenda.
3-D, From Scratch
When we caught up with Cage in the spring at Wonder-Con , he joked that the pollen in Louisiana made him sound like an “old blues singer” and raved about how the flick would meld an old-school cinematic vibe with cutting-edge technology.
“It’s like if you got to see an old ’70s action movie, but in 3-D,” he explained. “We’re doing something semi-historical, because it’s the first 3-D movie shot [in the] style of a ’70s action film. You could see Charles Bronson or [Clint] Eastwood [starring in a film like this] in those days.”
Months later, with the shoot behind him and his voice back to normal, Cage marveled at how he escaped the production injury-free. “In this case, I did quite a few stunts with people literally on the hood of the car driving at very high speeds, so it reminded me of those old movies where you have people on top of the wing of a biplane,” he said. “It was a little intense. That was definitely new to me and I was always very concerned about the stunt people I was working with.”
Hell on Earth
The film’s first trailer popped up online in October and featured everything we could have hoped for: big guns and fast cars, Cage walking slowly away from explosions without looking back, and fab lines like, “Hell already is walking the Earth.” Months later, a Super Bowl ad delivered further peeks at the hard-R craziness. There’s action aplenty, and that’s exactly how Lussier planned it.
“We have this great car chase with Nic’s character chasing after Amber Heard’s character, who’s in the middle of a fight inside this RV,” he teased of one scene. “You’re in this claustrophobic space, and suddenly you’re outside with Nic in hot pursuit. There’s all sorts of gunplay on the road. It’s spectacular.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Drive Angry.”
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