In an interview with Newsweek that covers a lot of ground, Nicholas Cage “reveals” that he was offered the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings but that “circumstances in my life” meant that he couldn’t take it. See here:
Are there any roles that you’ve down in your career that you regret turning down? I don’t really have any regrets. I think regret is a waste of time. I try to always move forward as opposed to dwelling on the past or the movies that might have happened. There certainly were movies that I probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them.
Any particular ones that come to mind?
Lord of the Rings. That trilogy. Aragorn. Or The Matrix. But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.
Were you offered a role in that?
Yeah…. There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. And I do mean it. I get to enjoy the movies as an audience member, because I don’t watch my own movies.
It’s always hard to tell what it means that someone was “offered” a role. Was the script just sent to his agent and he never auditioned? Was he who the studio wanted but not who the director wanted? Did he actually audition? Who knows! But I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Nicholas Cage as Aragorn was never meant to be.
Now as far as The Matrix goes, I can’t see him as Neo but he probably would have made a totally delightful Agent Smith.
h/t to Uproxx