Nowadays, it's hard to image that Nicolas Cage would turn down any movie, let alone one guaranteed to be a massive blockbuster success. Especially when he's taking jobs in such dreck as Left Behind and Season of the Witch. But as it turns out, he passed up a key role in what is one of the biggest series of all time. Yes, he could have been Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
For the past few years, Nicolas Cage has had a rough go at choosing projects. He's appeared in one flop after the next, many of them going straight to VOD or home video (which isn't a bad thing in this day of streaming media, but in his case it has been). He won raves for his indie thriller Joe, and had a great cameo turn in Kick-Ass, but there hasn't been anything too memorable on his resume for sometime. At this stage in his career, he's not being choosey. But back in the late 1990s, when he was at the top of his game, he felt he could afford to turn down 2001's The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Arguably, it could have been the biggest role of his career.
Nicolas Cage revealed that he almost played Aragorn in a recent interview with Newsweek. Why did he turn the role down? As he explains it, the shoot was simply too long, and too far away from his home.
"There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. "
Nicolas Cage doesn't go onto say what those other things were. But the shoot did take place in New Zealand, and spanned the course of three full years as director Peter Jackson shot Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of The King back to back for release in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The actor doesn't really regret his decision, with the role eventually going to Viggo Mortensen. About passing up the role, he takes this positive outlook.
"But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don't really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these-especially with Lord of the Rings."
Nicolas Cage is a huge comic book and fantasy nerd, so of course these are some of his favorite movies. It would have been incredibly weird to see Nicolas Cage in the role of Aragorn, but he does take on similar roles in Season of the Witch and Outcast. Looking at those movies, a lot of fans are probably very happy he didn't take the role. He certainly doesn't dwell on the missed opportunity.
"I don't really have any regrets. I think regret is a waste of time. I try to always move forward as opposed to dwelling on the past or the movies that might have happened. There certainly were movies that I probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them."
For now, we'll have to dream what it would have been like with Nicolas Cage in the role of Aragon. That is, until some young up and coming Youtuber decides to make a mash-up video. Which will probably happen before the end of the weekend. What about you? Are you happy that he passed?