Have you heard the one about the theft of Nicolas Cage’s copy of “Action Comics” #1? If not, you’ll hear all about it soon: it’s being turned into a movie.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that “Reno 911!” creators Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are writing a Lionsgate heist comedy centered on Cage’s stolen “Action Comics” #1 and the “group of nerds” who committed the crime. Pretty damn awesome, if you ask me. Less awesome is the word that Cage is “unlikely” to play himself in the film, and that Jason Statham has likewise turned down the opportunity to get in on the fun.
Look, I’m a big fan of Nic Cage, specifically when the man is at his craziest. So I have some thoughts on this movie. Thoughts that many of you will not agree with. That’s okay; I accept my status as a niche Cage fan, the kind that worships “Wicker Man” and devours “Drive Angry” with glee. That’s the kind of “How to make Nic Cage’s ’Action Comics’ #1 theft into a movie” pitch* you’ll find after the jump. Haters beware, you’re in for a scare, and such.
» Budget and Tone: Big and crazy. That’s the quick and easy answer. The legend of Nic Cage’s “Action Comics” is such a wild and ridiculous idea that in order to pull it off on screen, it has to be utterly ludicrous. Fork over millions of bucks for a totally nutrageous yarn, or put the bunny down.
» Director: If I haven’t lost you yet, here we go: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Following their work on “Spirit of Vengeance,” I simply can’t imagine another set of directors better-suited to unleash the Cage the way I like it. Patrick Lussier of “Drive Angry” fame is not a bad back-up by any stretch, but he’s second to the death-defying directorial lunacy of Neveldine/Taylor.
» Starring: First and foremost, whatever happened to lure Jason Statham away from this project, that needs to be fixed. He is the commander of this heist, full stop. Assuming his absence, Mark Wahlberg is always a reliable ring leader. Put him in charge of the “group of nerds” that stole Cage’s prized comic. For everyone else, geek gang included, forget going for a “Fanboy” youth ensemble; assemble an all-star cast of Cage veterans instead. John Malkovich, Chris Cooper, William Fichtner, Leelee Sobieski… the list goes on forever. There must be parts for all of them.
» And Playing Nicolas Cage…: Come on, as if this is even a question. I understand that Nic might be reluctant to touch on such a personal, almost autobiographical subject, but… No, no, scratch that. This is Nic Cage we’re talking about here, master of the maniacally self-aware. Forget getting his blessing; there’s straight up no way this movie works without his on-camera participation.
» The Result: Why ask? You know the answer: this becomes the best movie ever made, viewed by approximately four people — me, and the three of you still reading this pitch. Don’t feel lonely, guys; we’re in a minority of Cage fandom, but it’s an awesome minority.
(* = This pitch was 90% written on my iPhone during my subway ride to work. Not just any iPhone, either, but an iPhone sporting this cover. See below.)
Tell us how you’d craft Nicolas Cage’s “Action Comics” heist movie in the comments section or on Twitter!