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Nic Cage wanted to lick the audience in the face in 2011 action flick 'Drive Angry' - stream it on Peacock

Nicolas Cage had some big ideas for his first-ever 3D movie.

By Matthew Jackson
Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry 3D (2011)

While 3D is making something of a comeback right now thanks to event movies like Avatar: The Way of Water, it was an even bigger deal earlier in the 21st century, when everything from sci-fi blockbusters to mid-budget horror films were making use of the technology to give an added boost to their audience and ticket sales. For Nicolas Cage, that meant experimenting with a new filmmaking format for the first time, and in true Nicolas Cage fashion, he had some wild ideas.

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In Patrick Lussier's film Drive Angry, now streaming on Peacock, Cage played John Milton, a man who escapes from Hell and sets out on a cross-country drive to get revenge for the death of his daughter. That's a wild enough premise, but throw in the added appeal of 3D and it becomes something even broader and more ambitious. Back in 2011, at a press conference for the film (via Dread Central), Cage explained the appeal of the format, and the big ideas he had going into the production. 

“I was very excited at first to see what I could do with the format," Cage said. "It’s my first live-action movie in 3D. I was like a kid in a candy store and I wanted to see if I could get my tongue in the fourth row of the audience in one scene. Thankfully they cut that out of the movie, but I wanted to try to do anything I could to mess with the format. And by the second week, it became clear to me that it wasn’t much different from making any other movie with a 35mm camera. And that’s really a credit to Patrick Lussier because he is a pioneer of the new wave of 3D and he really sorted out all the bugs might occur with it on My Bloody Valentine 3D.”

Sadly, audiences who showed up for Drive Angry in all its 3D glory didn't get to see Cage's tongue reaching out to lick them in the face, but they did see him drinking from a skull, having sex during a gunfight, and much more, so it worked out. Plus, as Cage has frequently pointed out over the years, working on a combination action and horror film gave him the opportunity to play more with his acting style, something more straightforward dramas don't always offer.

"I like fantasy, horror and sci-fi because I can get avant-garde with those performances in those movies," he said. "I can’t do that in down and dirty dramas, I can’t do that unless I go outside the box. Unless I’m playing a character on drugs, like Bad Lieutenant…then I can get pretty out there…otherwise I have to look at supernatural movies and science fiction movies to get more avant-garde. But again, I think the most inventive and creative and imaginative filmmaking out there is sci-fi and horror when it’s done intelligently.”

If you missed it the first time around, or just need another drive around the block, Drive Angry is now streaming on Peacock.