Nicolas Cage told reporters that he's got several genre films on the way, including the animated features G-Force and Astro Boy and a live-action film, The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Cage also confirmed that he's interested in reprising his role as Ben Gates in a third National Treasure adventure, but added that he's not sure when it might go before the camera.
Cage made his comments during a press conference in New York City, where he was promoting his latest SF film, the March 20 release Knowing.
Following are edited excerpts from the conversation.
What's on your plate in terms of upcoming projects?
Cage: Well, I have a movie called Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans coming out. Werner Herzog directed that. I have a movie called Season of the Witch coming out that Dominic Sena directed, and now, this week, I'll be doing, commencing photography on Sorcerer's Apprentice. Plus, I have two animated features coming out [G-Force and Astro Boy], which hopefully make the kids smile.
What did Fantasia mean to you growing up?
Cage: Wonder, enchantment, awe. It was my first real introduction into classical music, and it was married to these beautiful, lifelike animated sequences with dinosaurs and ogres and gargoyles. It was just totally inspiring to me. So it's kind of a big moment for me to be able to play that part.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice is being done as a live-action film. What's the take on the story itself and on the sorcerer?
Cage: Well, I haven't even started filming yet, but I would like to say that the take is that it's going to entertain you, that the sorcerer is good, but there is going to be moments where he's a little mysterious and just a little perhaps scary to look at. There's going to be a lot of fantasy, and there's going to be some amazing effects. I'm working with Jay Baruchel, who I think is fantastic.
He's the apprentice, right?
Cage: He is, yeah. We're going to have some laughs. I can already feel it.
The first two National Treasure adventures were among your most successful films. Are you looking forward to a third one, and do you have any idea where the franchise might go?
Cage: Yeah, I'm hopeful. Those movies make a lot of people happy. I don't know yet where it will go or what the story will be, because the auspices are all right here right now, working on The Sorcerer's Apprentice [including producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub]. There was some talk about it maybe going into the South.
Do you think you'll make it later this year?
Cage: I really don't know. I wish that I did, but I haven't got a clue. That sounds oddly Ben Gates.
Is there any particular genre of film that stretches your acting muscles more than another? And is there a genre you'd like to do that you haven't done?
Cage: I feel that I want to keep going in this science fiction and also perhaps fantasy direction for a little while longer, because I think there's some room for growth there in my own abilities, in that I'll be a little more liberated working on that landscape. So I'm happy to be here now. I don't know of any other genres that I'm interested in. I like dramas, as you know. Comedies not so much, only because I don't find the same things funny that many other people seem to find funny. I don't really respond to sex jokes and things like that, and some of my friends look at me and go, "Come on, Nic, that was my best joke. Why aren't you laughing?" I go, "I really don't know why I'm not laughing." I'm sort of out of sync with it. So I'd have to find something that was really about weird human behavior for me to laugh.