Though he’s a multiple Academy Award nominee (and Oscar-winner for Leaving Las Vegas), as well as a member of the Coppola film industry dynasty, over the last decade Nicolas Cage has become predominantly famous for a series of unusual acting decisions. His role choices in a series of increasingly strange movies follows a brief run as an unlikely blockbuster action star, back during the early-2000s (after the success of The Rock and Con Air in the ’90s).
Cage’s latest unexpected move is to star in a quasi-sequel to the 1994 film, Deadfall. The “sequel” in question is a gritty crime thriller titled Arsenal – directed by Steven C Miller and starring Adrian Grenier as a small-time Southern criminal who attempts to rescue his ne’er-do-well brother (Johnathan Schaech), after he gets in too deep on a drug trafficking scheme. The low-budget film’s production was not widely covered, so the appearance of Cage’s Deadfall character in the new trailer comes as a surprise.
The Arsenal trailer features Cage back in the role of Eddie from Deadfall, complex with the same odd-looking wig and mustache that the actor put on for that movie. Released back in 1994, Deadfall (which was directed by Cage’s brother Christopher Coppola) was not a success at either the box office or on home video, and is today mainly remembered for YouTube compilations of Cage’s unusual dialogue as the character (see the video below, for example).
When asked on Twitter, the director of Arsenal confirmed that Cage is indeed reprising his role as “Eddie,” though it was not 100% clear whether this was always intentional, a decision by Cage made after casting or an inside joke for devoted Cage fans. Christopher Coppola also appears in the film in a smaller role, indicating that the decision was at least ultimately a deliberate one. Left unsaid: How the sequel accounts for the fact that Eddie did not technically survive the events of Deadfall.
Cage most recently appeared in the dark comedy Army of One, portraying a (real life) mentally-ill man who journeyed to Afghanistan on a self-imposed mission to find and kill Osama bin Laden. He will next appear in the controversial feature Vengeance: A Love Story (an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ Rape: A Love Story) as a detective pursuing vigilante justice, after a trial for the assault of a young woman is turned against the victim by a corrupt attorney.
Arsenal arrives in select theaters on January 6th, 2017.