A press release came out last week which confirmed that Nicolas Cage was in negotiations to play the gangster villain for the upcoming Michael Gondry and Seth Rogen adaptation of Green Hornet.
Quick thereafter, news broke that Nic Cage had turned down the role and left the project to instead work as the lead in two other films. Production was just starting so some were worried about them finding a worthy replacement quick. They sure as hell did though in bringing in to-be-Oscar-nominated Inglourious Basterds star, Christoph Waltz.
As to why Cage turned down the role, we now have the reason...
While promoting his film, Bad Lieutenant, Port of Call: New Orleans at TIFF, Cage answered questions on the topic of Green Hornet explaining that his decision stemmed from creative differences (he's not the first to leave for that reason, looking back on Stephen Chow who was set to direct and play Kato before).
Cage revealed that Rogen and Gondry had different ideas for the character than he did and he "wasn't interested in just being just a straight-up bad guy who was killing people willy-nilly."
Instead, Cage wanted a character whose motivations made sense and whose evilness is explained and apparently there wasn't the time to develop that into the script - production began two weeks ago.
"'The Green Hornet' was something that I wanted to do, I think Michel Gondry is very talented and I had hoped it would work but I think Seth Rogen and Michel had a different take on the character,"
"I had to have some humanity and to try to give it something where you could understand why the character was the way he was but I don't think there was enough time to develop it."
I can't blame the man for his reasoning - it does make sense wanting to play a character that makes sense. Although, looking back on Cage's resume, it's a little confusing/surprising.
It doesn't really matter though anymore as he won't be missed too much with Christopher Waltz replacing him. Waltz made big name for himself with his epic performance in the latest Tarantino flick and he represents a significant upgrade over Mr. Cage.
What do you think of Cage's reasoning and would you had liked to see him as the bad guy? Is Waltz now typecasted as a villain?
Green Hornet hits theaters December 17, 2010.