Nicolas Cage Tiger King

You win some and you lose some and, in this case, we’re very much chalking this up to a win. For those of us who die on the hill that Nicolas Cage is an immensely talented actor (watch Leaving Las Vegas, to remind yourselves!) whose almost inhuman energy should not be wasted, we’re not too sad to report that Cage won’t be joining Amazon’s Joe Exotic series as previously reported.

According to Variety, the project has been placed on the shelf and may be shopped around to other outlets. Meanwhile, Cage himself broke the news that he is no longer attached to the role, saying:

“We should clear the record. I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together. They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it’s no longer relevant.”

That makes a lot of sense and, honestly, it’s kind of refreshing to hear an actor just come out and say that a once-exciting idea was little more than a momentary fad. Obviously capitalizing on Netflix’s flash-in-the-pan success with their Tiger King documentary, this project was meant to focus on the eccentric man at the center of the wildly popular show, as opposed to its revolving door of unconventional side characters.

On the surface, at least, I suppose Cage made for a decently obvious casting choice for the wild zookeeper. But to me, it always seemed a poor fit to me and beneath the actor, somehow. This was always a project that needed Nicolas Cage more than Nicolas Cage needed it.

mandy box office

The Man, The Myth, The Cage

But not to worry, folks, because the Cage train simply does not stop. Lest we forget that Cage will be starring as himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a hilariously meta-sounding movie that features a fictionalized Nicolas Cage getting mixed up with the CIA, drug cartels, and who even knows what else. Even more excitingly, the enigma of an actor is drawing praise for his turn in Pig, the surprisingly thoughtful drama in which he plays a loner on the relentless search for his kidnapped pig. Our own Chris Evangelista raves about Cage’s performance, complimenting his “subtle grace that is bound to shock folks.”

Cage Cinema is alive and well, which we absolutely love to see.

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