Nicolas Cage Had to Be Tricked Into Signing One of the Greatest Thriller Movies After He Denied to Play a Villain

Nicolas Cage initially refused to star in Face/Off because he did not want to be the villain.

nicolas cage had to be tricked into signing one of the greatest thriller movies after he denied to play a villain


  • Nicolas Cage turned down the offer to star in John Woo's Face/Off.
  • He agreed to do it after he was told he will be playing the hero and not the villain.
  • Face/Off sequel is currently in the works with Adam Wingard as director.
Show More
Featured Video

Nicolas Cage has turned down movie offers for various reasons over the years. The actor has become quite specific with the kinds of projects he gets himself involved with, as he is known for portraying eccentric characters that always leave a memorable impact.

nicolas cage and john travolta
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta

Still, there are projects he initially refused but later agreed on because of specific reasons again, especially when the director is as persistent as John Woo. Apparently, he managed to convince Cage to sign on to his film Face/Off even after the actor rejected it.

RELATED: “I’ll ask for a gift from my dreams”: Nicolas Cage Made Outrageous Claims About Being Blessed With 5 Perfect Scripts Through His Dreams


Nicolas Cage Initially Turned Down Face/Off Role

Face/Off is a 1997 science fiction action thriller film helmed by John Woo and written by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary. It starred John Travolta as Sean Archer and Nicolas Cage as Castor Troy. Woo personally handpicked the actors for his project, and as he has previously worked with Travolta in Broken Arrow, they already knew each other.

Interestingly, Cage initially turned down the offer because he did not want to play the villain. It was later explained to him that for most of the film, Cage would be portraying Sean Archer with Castor Troy’s face, making him the real hero. As complicated as that sounds, Cage was instantly intrigued, and he agreed to do the movie.

nicolas cage
Nicolas Cage

Before Travolta and Cage, there were other actors who were considered for the lead roles. When the team was brainstorming Face/Off, they initially wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone on board as Sean Archer and Castor Troy. This would have been a spectacular film that never came to fruition.


Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp also showed interest in playing the part of Sean Archer, though unfortunately, he passed over the role after getting a glimpse of the script.

With Travolta and Cage in the lead, Face/Off became a massive success. The movie debuted at the top of the domestic box office, and by the end of its theatrical release, it grossed over $245 million worldwide, bagging the 11th spot on the highest-grossing films of 1997.

Face/Off also had a spotlight at the Academy Awards. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing, while taking home two Saturn Awards for Best Director and Best Writing. The movie also won Best Action Sequence and Best On-Screen Duo at the MTV Movie Awards.


RELATED: “WB paid him just to use his likeness”: Nicolas Cage Outrages Fans With His Startling Revelation About One of the Biggest Flops in DCU History

Will There Be A Sequel To Face/Off?

nicolas cage and john travolta 2
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta

In 2019, a Face/Off sequel was said to be in the works with Adam Wingard hired to helm the film. The director revealed in his interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet that John Travolta and Nicolas Cage are willing to reprise their roles:

We’re still writing the script, so it’s still in early phases. Simon [Barrett, writer] and I are very close to turning in our draft to Paramount soon. We’ll have to get over those hurdles of do they like this movie? They’ve read our outline. Everybody’s on board with it, but actually turning in the script’s a different thing so we’ll see how everybody reacts to it.”

The movie is still in active development at Paramount Pictures, and as Wingard mentioned, they have to finalize the script first and make sure it’s up to the studio’s standards. Fans are very much assured that Cage and Travolta are more than happy enough to return.


RELATED: “I’ll ask for a gift from my dreams”: Nicolas Cage Made Outrageous Claims About Being Blessed With 5 Perfect Scripts Through His Dreams


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1931

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.