Nicolas Cage almost played Chaz in Wedding Crashers. Director David Dobkin was recently interviewed and brought up the fact that one of Will Ferrell's weirdest roles almost went to Cage. While this isn't quite on the level of Tom Selleck almost playing Indiana Jones or even Julia Roberts starring in Sleepless in Seattle, it is pretty big, especially since Ferrell still gets shoutouts on the street about "meatloaf" to this day.
David Dobkin directed Wedding Crashers 15 years ago and it remains a comedy classic. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan star in the movie, though they were nearly upstaged by Will Ferrell, who was only on the set for a day. His Chaz character spends all day in his signature robe and still lives with his mother. It's hard to imagine anyone else but Ferrell taking on the role at this point, but Nicolas Cage was nearly in there. Dobkin explains.
"So I needed a bottom out moment and I was like you know we talk about Chaz, what if you went to go see Chaz and he was crashing funerals? And it was just so grim that it sends you back to your friend. So Owen wrote most of that scene and it was really funny. We were trying to get Will till midnight the night before he was shooting. It was one day. We were having a very hard time confirming him and we had Nick Cage as a backup. I never told anyone that."
If anyone could have elevated the character of Chaz from Wedding Crashers, it's Nicolas Cage. Though one can imagine that he might have brought a level of intensity that was not exactly needed. Cage probably would have made the scene stick out just like Will Ferrell did, but with a different type of dark comedy. Whatever the case may be, Ferrell pulled through and the rest is history.
Will Ferrell recently revealed that the was shocked that people still yell "meatloaf" at him on the street. One would think it would be a line from Anchorman or Step Brothers, which happens all of the time too. The meatloaf line just seems to have struck a nerve with people, so it resonates, even 15 years after it debuted in theaters. Maybe Chaz will come back if a sequel is ever made.
David Dobkin has been pretty adamant about not doing Wedding Crashers 2 for a long time. However, he recently stated that he would be interested in seeing where those two characters are in their late 40s and single again. Dobkin noted that the sequel would have to be a lot different from the first installment for it to work, so who knows, maybe it will happen someday. For now, Dobkin just needs the right idea that doesn't retread the first movie. The interview with David Dobkin was originally conducted by the Spitballing Podcast.