While Green Hornet was never anyone’s favorite superhero movie, it still possessed plenty of oddball charm that proved comedy and crime-fighting still belonged together in the modern franchise landscape. The Michel Gondry-directed, Seth Rogen-written/starring film was plenty weird, but it could’ve been a whole lot weirder. That’s because Nicolas Cage was almost the film’s villain, playing the Christoph Waltz role. And trust that his take on the character was a bit more off-the-wall than a simple middle-aged mob boss.
Rogen spoke to Vulture about the movie and just how close Cage got to the role as villain. “The studio was like, ‘You gotta make the villain a star. We want you to cast Nicolas Cage,’” Rogen said. When they reach out to the versatile star, “he tells us that he wants to do the movie, but he wants to play the character as, like, a white Bahamian or Jamaican. Which to us was a little worrisome.” If that sounds a bit insensitive or perhaps arbitrary, you’ll be happy to know that everyone else involved with the production thought the same way.
“We were going to have a big dinner with Nicolas Cage at Amy Pascal’s house to talk about the movie. And I remember driving to the dinner with Evan and saying, ‘If he does the white Bahamian thing at the dinner, I’m going to lose it,’” Rogen continued. “Within 20 minutes of getting to the dinner he’s fully doing it.”
And it wasn’t even, despite all evidence to the contrary, a bad accent. “It was good! But I think he could so viscerally tell that we didn’t like the idea that he just left right in the middle of dinner,” Rogen said. “Then he called me two days after that and said, 'I’m getting the sense that you don’t want me in this movie.'" No bad blood was generated between the two actors, however, though that particular acting choice didn’t quite land.
Now that Cage is able to return to the superpowered world as Superman in the Teen Titans Go film, finally, there can truly be some justice where the actor plays every kind of lead in every kind of movie. Even if he wants to use a ridiculous accent. Maybe Superman landed in the Bahamas rather than Kansas?