In which role do you remember Nicolas Cage the most? Is it his infamous role in the 2006 cult classic version of The Wicker Man? Perhaps it’s his character in Vampire’s Kiss that’s now a certified meme.
But have you noticed something odd about him? The 55-year-old actor has been in unusual films for the past few years, from Mandy to Colour Out of Space. And after some digging, we think we know why Cage is doing all these movies — with seemingly no end.
There Were Signs in 2016
Back in the 2000s and early 2010s, Nicolas Cage was just like Brendan Fraser and The Rock. By that, we mean that Cage was remembered the most for his action or adventure movies.
These included National Treasure and its 2007 sequel. There was also Ghost Rider, which was one of the earliest Marvel superhero films. This was way before Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe came about.
In 2010, Cage appeared in the wacky, violet movie adaptation of the Kick-Ass comic book series. But then came 2016. At this point, he was in movies that bombed at the box office or never had a wide release in the first place.
There was the war movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage. It only had a limited release for Veterans Day weekend — and premiered in the Philippines. After that, it was available as a digital rental.
Then he was in two black comedies: The Trust and Dog Eat Dog. The former didn’t appear in cinemas while the latter made less than $70,000. He was no longer a big star. It was a far cry from when he made $40 million in 2009.
From ‘Mandy’ to HP Lovecraft
Thankfully, 2018 was a good year for Nicolas Cage. He still wasn’t making millions with each film, but he was gaining recognition. He had the starring role in Mandy. This was a stylish, unique movie that critics loved — including Cage’s performance.
He was also Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It was the most unique Spider-Man film yet — and Cage was in it as Spider-Man Noir. Then in 2019, narrated the documentary Love, Antosha, which received universal acclaim.
In September, his sci-fi horror flick Color Out of Space premiered. It was part of the Toronto International Film Festival. It wasn’t as well-received as Mandy or Love, Antosha, but it was still a noteworthy project.
A Case of Financial Liabilities
So why is Nicolas Cage in a seemingly aggressive path to expanding his filmography? Well, he has to pay bills. And we’re not just talking about a few dollars — he has millions to pay.
You see, the Internal Revenue Service claimed that the actor didn’t pay over $6 million in taxes in 2007. Also, he was forced to sell his Bel-Air property that had loans amounting to $18 million.
Cage wanted to sell the house for $35 million, but no one wanted it at that price. Someone did buy it in 2010, but only for $10.5 million. Then there’s his Nevada property that was also up for foreclosure.
Back then, he had no qualms buying multiple homes totaling $33 million. He even had nine Rolls Royces at one point. Similarly, he once owned a copy of Action Comics 1 before selling it for $2.16 million.
Thus, Cage pretty much has no option other than to keep on accepting movie roles. The year isn’t even over yet and there are already more than 10 future movies he’s part of.