Nicolas Cage has been many things in his life: Francis Ford Coppolla’s nephew, talented character actor, Oscar winner, Hollywood mega-star, serial divorcée, compulsive castle buyer, and finally, where he stands now, Hollywood wash-out with a compulsion for schlock so that he can pay off his creditors. Throughout all of this, Cage has been a fan of comic books, and especially of the character Superman — so much so that we very nearly had to suffer his take on the “man of steel” in a cinematic vision fromTim Burton. Which makes the case of his stolen copy, and subsequent auction sale, of Action Comics #1 (Superman’s first ever four-color appearance), truly the most heartbreaking thing to happen to Nic Cage in the last two decades. Yes, that includes even Season of the Witch.
Adding insult to tragedy, the mysterious tale of Cage’s lost funny book is now looking to be translated to the big screen in Action No. 1, with a screenplay by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Fans of hilarious television will know Lennon and Garant from MTV’s “The State” and “Reno 911!”, while fans of lowest common denominator film making will know the writing duo from The Pacifier, Herbie Fully Loaded, Taxi, and Balls of Fury!. Their new project is being billed as a geekified comedic heist film that will feature a lead character named “Nicolas Cage” but probably won’t star the real Nicolas Cage, because he apparently lacks any sense of humor. So, if we’re lucky, Action No. 1 will be in the vein of the pair’s Night at the Museum series, which are measurably terrible films but also sort of fun. Still, Lennon and Garant can absolutely be funny and winning when they aren’t merely looking for a paycheck, and this material could be what they need to move beyond Vin Diesel Day Care Movies.
The lack of Cage in the lead role might derail the delightful meta-ness that Action could achieve, but his role may be filled by Jason Statham, assuming he isn’t busy fighting giant robots. No word on whether he’d still be playing “Nic Cage” or not, though it would be a lot cooler if he did. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d pay good money to see The Statham sporting a mulleted widow’s peak bald-cap and failing to foil a bunch of nerds from stealing his most prized possession. The sequel could start when Statham-Cage begins taking the pre-production on Superman Lives far too seriously and sets out on a misbegotten quest for justice against those who wounded him so deeply…
Co-starring Johnny Depp as Tim Burton?
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He’s pretty sure if Spike Jonze somehow ended up directing this, Cage might be compelled to at least make a cameo.