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Early last year, news broke that a remake of 1997's Face/Off was in the works from Godzilla vs. Kong director, Adam Wingard. Not long after the headlines started to fly, however, the filmmaker clarified that the project would be a direct follow-up to the John Woo classic starring Nicolas Cage as a domestic terrorist and John Travolta as an FBI agent who literally swap faces and try to out-crazy one another.
How does the original cast feel about the upcoming sequel? The answer might surprise you. During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cage owned up to the fact that he had no idea a Face/Off follow-up was even happening.
"I have not heard hide nor hair about it," he admitted. "So often these things we read about are just conjecture without any base or foundation to it. I feel the same about National Treasure 3. It’s been 14 years. There’s no there, there. So, is it fun to think about? Sure. Would [Face/Off 2] be an exciting movie to make? Oh, hell yeah. But John Woo was such a huge voice in that movie. It couldn’t be a remake. I think these filmmakers even said as much — that something like that would have to be a sequel."
Cage's next silver screen role sees him playing — are you ready for this one? — Nicolas Cage!
Before you ask, the answer is no: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is not a traditional biopic, but more of a meta retrospective on Cage's legendary status as one of the most interesting thespians of our time. Calling to mind the self-aware antics of 2002's Adaption, which also starred Cage, the movie features the National Treasure vet as a heightened version of himself getting mixed up with a dangerous super-fan (played by Din Djarin himself, Pedro Pascal).
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent will premiere at SXSW this weekend before making its way to theaters Friday, April 22. If Cage is to be believed, he initially turned down the project "three or four times" until he received a heartfelt letter from writer-director Tom Gormican, who went into detail about his pure intentions for the story.
"I wanted no part of it. But when I got Tom’s letter, then I thought, 'OK, he’s not just trying to mock so-called Nick Cage; there is a real interest in some of the earlier work,'" the actor recalled. "His tone was more of a celebration of some of [Cage’s iconic onscreen] moments — like being at the bottom of the pool in Leaving Las Vegas or the gold guns in Face/Off."
There's also some heavy speculation that Cage might appear as 2007-era Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Of course, nothing is confirmed just yet and even Cage danced around the question of whether he'd be up for a return to the Marvel Universe as the motorcycle-riding Spirit of Vengeance. Instead, he addressed the claim that comic book blockbusters count as genuine cinema.
"These are hot topics, and I get it, because these are the types of things that become like wildfire on the internet," he explained. "I’ve always admired the realm of the comic book and I’ve always thought stories were really colorful and entertaining and, frankly, kind of wholesome in a really positive way. I don’t know what the umbrage is with people that want to knock them. I certainly think there’s great value in that they’re bringing happiness to people."