This past summer cinephiles, comic-book-geeks and Nic Cage fans alike were excited to hear the news that the Oscar winner was set to play a mobster in Seth Rogen’s movie version of “The Green Hornet.” It was an announcement that seemed to promise a return to the edgier, quirkier, over-the-top Cage that endeared himself to fans during the first decade of his career before movies like “The Family Man” and “National Treasure” came along. Oddly enough, that return to form would instead be marked by a different film — and Cage couldn’t be happier.
“It’s not more fun, but it’s kind of relieving,” Cage told MTV News of playing an over-the-top character in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” which has given the actor his best reviews in years and might just get some awards-season talk. “It’s relieving to get it out; you go through a cathartic kind of experience where you’re just letting it come out.”
Unfortunately, Cage didn’t get that experience on “Hornet,” a film that Rogen isn’t envisioning as a comedy – but with the “Knocked Up” funnyman in the lead role and Michel Gondry’s boundary-breaking vision behind the camera, it certainly would have provided Cage with some yummy scenery to chew.
“You know, I think that the movie will be spectacular,” Cage said of his villainous role in “The Green Hornet” that has since been re-assigned to “Inglourious Basterds” baddie Christoph Waltz. “Seth is so talented, as is Michel.”
So, if he was the first choice to play crime villain Chudnofsky – a crime lord who unites the gangs of Los Angeles for his own gain and carries some crazy weaponry – then why did Cage drop out of the running?
“You know, we just had a disagreement about the role, not the movie,” explained Cage, saying he looks forward to seeing the “Basterds” star in the vacated role. “I think they have an excellent choice [in Waltz], and everyone’s happy about it.”
“They’re making the movie that they want to make,” Cage said of “Hornet,” which is scheduled to hit theaters a year from now, without him. “I have no doubt it will be spectacular.”
Have you seen “Inglourious Basterds” and “Bad Lieutenant 2”? If so, which of the scenery-chewing stars would you rather see playing a maniacal villain in “The Green Hornet”? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!