Apparently Nicolas Cage Turned Down Roles In The Matrix And The Lord Of The Rings For The Sweetest Reason


Can you imagine Nicolas Cage waking up from a training download, whispering “I know kung fu,” then entering a feud with Laurence Fishburne? Because that might have happened if Cage accepted a role in The Matrix that we can only assume was Neo. Cage admitted to passing on The Matrix, as well as The Lord of the Rings, while making the publicity rounds on behalf of his upcoming comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. In that film, Cage plays an exaggerated version of his classic Hollywood persona, agreeing to play himself at a birthday party of a super-fan for $1 million. But when talking with People about his past offers, and why he turned them down, Cage explains:

First and foremost … there’s no version of Nic Cage in reality that doesn’t want to spend time with his children. There’s no version of Nic Cage that didn’t put family first over career. I turned down Lord of the Rings and I turned down Matrix because I didn’t want to go to New Zealand for three years or Australia for three years because I needed to be home with my son Weston, that’s a fact. … So there is a huge disparity between that Nick Cage in Massive Talent and the Nic Cage sitting in front of you right now.

I love Hollywood “What If?” stories. Tom Cruise almost played Iron Man instead of Robert Downey Jr. in an earlier version of the production, or Sylvester Stallone almost considering Beverly Hills Cop as a starring role – which eventually went to Eddie Murphy, and fit him like a glove! In both of those cases, the roles ended up in the right hands… and I think you have to say the same about The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings

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