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“I needed to be home”: Unlike Brad Pitt and Will Smith, Nicolas Cage Turned Down $1.7B Franchise for an Emotional Reason That Went to Keanu Reeves

Unlike Brad Pitt and Will Smith, Nicolas Cage Turned Down $1.7B Franchise for an Emotional Reason That Went to Keanu Reeves

Nicolas Cage is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood, with over 100 films to his name. The actor has an insane range as he enjoys working in different genres of films, where he would authentically play different roles. The actor has taken on some unforgettable projects, one being the role of Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who made a deal with the devil to become a skeletal soul hunter in Marvel’s Ghost Rider.

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage

The Raising Arizona actor is known for his work in films such as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Pig, Vampire’s Kiss, and many more. Though there are several successful roles to his name, Cage could have worked in two of the most iconic films of this generation but he turned down the roles because of a wholesome reason.

Also Read: “He’d never say goodbye”: Robin Williams Kept Steven Spielberg Alive With His Innate Skill After Director Felt He Won’t Make it While Filming $322M Movie

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Nicolas Cage Turns Down Roles In Iconic Franchises To Spend Time With His Son

One of Nicolas Cage‘s most entertaining films is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, where he played a fictionalized version of himself. During an exclusive interview with People, the Wild at Heart actor talked about how his fictional version was heavily exaggerated, some of them were untrue, one being the character hating time to spend time with children. 

Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

“First and foremost … there’s no version of Nic Cage in reality that doesn’t want to spend time with his children. There’s no version of Nic Cage that didn’t put family first over career.”

He continued that in order to spend time with his son, Weston Cage, and in the process, he decided to turn down roles in Lord of the Rings and Matrix.

A still from The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
A still from The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

“I turned down ‘Lord of the Rings’ and I turned down ‘Matrix’ because I didn’t want to go to New Zealand for three years or Australia for three years because I needed to be home with my son Weston, that’s a fact.”

While many actors would love to play roles in the franchise, Cage does not regret his decision. He was offered to play the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings and Neo in The Matrix, the iconic roles were then played by Viggo Mortensen and Keanu Reeves, respectively.

This contrasts with some actors who preferred picking their careers over their families. This included Will Smith and Brad Pitt. While Smith publically admitted that his career came before his family, Pitt never really took any chances to compromise his family while still pursuing his acting career.

Also Read: “What could I possibly do that could top this?”: Sir Patrick Stewart Went Into Disbelief After Watching His Own Performance With Hugh Jackman in $619M Movie

Nicolas Cage Lost His Stardom After Working In A Box Office Bust

Nicolas Cage is one of the best actors in Hollywood with numerous box office hits, several nominations and awards including an Academy Award for Best Actor, establishing himself as one of the best actors of this generation. The actor is still renowned but not like before, and this was because he decided to work in John Woo’s Windtalkers, where he was paid around $20 million.

A still from Windtalkers
A still from Windtalkers

The 2002 film revolves around two World War II U.S. Marines assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as a durable radio code. But the financial disaster led to a turning point in the production of the film, and it was a massive flop as it lost between $100 and $150 million when adjusted for inflation.

The film’s failure can’t be blamed solely on the actor, as the film was heavily criticized by both, the critics and the audience, and it made them question the factuality of the real incident. Hence, it received mixed reviews in the end. The failure affected Nicolas Cage’s stardom massively because experts felt that the actor had lost his prominence to work in films that attract massive audiences and are a box office success.

Also Read: “Lot of action guys have no heart”: Sylvester Stallone Learned From His Rivals’ One Mistake to Build His $1.78 Billion Rocky Franchise

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent can be streamed on DIRECTV.

Source: People


Written by Tushar Auddy

A voracious reader and a wordsmith at heart. Tushar is a student of Linguistics, who's always on the lookout for a good book or a captivating story. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him scribbling down his thoughts and musings, always eager to capture the beauty of language.