As we reported a few weeks ago, Nicolas Cage is currently in the process of restoring his reputation. He recently finished shooting David Gordon Green’s Joe, which is said to be one of the actor’s most dramatic films to date. In an interview at the Berlin International Film Festival, Cage listed several other revered filmmakers that he hopes to make films with in the years ahead, including Paul Schrader, Werner Herzog, Tim Burton, and William Friedkin. However, the director he seems most excited to collaborate with is a man who has only directed one film in the last 42 years: 86-year-old B-movie legend Roger Corman.
As an experiment, Cage wants to make a low budget ’60s Corman movie—without changing a thing. “I want the same costumes, I want the same fog machine, I want the same blood,” the actor explained. “We had a great meeting in New Orleans and it was good to go. I was up every night watching The Masque of the Red Death and Premature Burial and I was like, ‘This is so artistic and psychedelic and fantastic. I gotta be in that movie.’”
In spite of Cage’s apparent willingness to work cheap in a low risk genre, he says he has been unable to raise money for the project. The problem may stem from Corman’s age, his lack of recent directing experience, and the grade-Z schlock (Sharktopus, Piranhaconda, Dinocroc vs. Supergator) he has been associated with in recent years. Plus, Corman’s devoted wife (and frequent collaborator) Julie Corman would probably nix the idea even if funding did come through. In 2005, Corman agreed to direct an episode of Masters of Horror, but his wife intervened, fearing the health effects of a stressful shoot.
If Cage is serious about recreating the atmospheric psychedelia of Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe cycle, the answer might be to work with a younger director who shares his passion for those films. A suitable candidate might even be Cage’s Joe director, as David Gordon Green has spent several years attempting to mount a remake of the similarly-styled Suspiria. While that project is stalled in legal disputes over the property’s ownership, Green—who won the directing award at Berlin for his new film Prince Avalanche—has proven himself adept with low budgets and responsive to the eccentricities of style and performance that Cage seems determined to bring back to the world of horror. Whatever shape this project ultimately takes, it should be a perfect opportunity for Cage to explore his wild side—and who could ask for anything more?