LOS ANGELES — Three of the film industry’s largest studios have banded together to finance a new offer for Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage: $75 million to stay away from Tinseltown backlots for the next half-decade. Paramount, Universal, and Warner Brothers have reportedly pitched in $25 million each.
Cage, once one of the film industry’s brightest talents, won an Oscar for his tragic performance in 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas.” Ever since then, however, the quality of his performances and films has sharply declined. The only efforts worse than Cage’s two franchises, the “National Treasure” and “Ghost Rider” series, have been his string of one-off flops, such as “The Wicker Man,” “Drive Angry,” and “Season of the Witch,” which earned him his third Razzie nomination for Worst Actor in only five years. Despite the financial mediocrity and critical deterioration of his résumé in the twenty-first century, Cage continues to demand between $7m and $20m per role, while the next Meryl Streep spreads cream cheese on his bagels at his favorite Los Feliz deli.
“Seriously, no one understands it,” an agent from Creative Artists Agency, which represents Cage, told Newslo on the condition of anonymity. “He hasn’t had a hit in years. He hasn’t made a good movie since before Lewinsky’s dress was stained. Who the hell is paying him to churn out piece of shit after piece of shit, and why didn’t I try harder to get a piece of that commission?”
Another CAA employee summed up Cage more succinctly: “He’ll do anything for a dollar. Anything. The man is crazy and the man is greedy.”
Hollywood’s powerhouse studios, it seems, are beginning to wise up to the loss of Cage’s “bankablility.” “Not only does he lose us truck-loads of money, but he makes us look bad. He’s ruining the integrity of this industry and this studio,” said one Paramount executive, before returning to the latest draft of his current feature, “Transformers 4: Shit Blows Up!”
Executives at Warner Brothers and Universal echoed these sentiments, and in late July a summit meeting between leaders of the three studios led to the drafting of a contract that would, in the words of one Vice President of Development, “keep our big screens free of Nic Cage for a solid five years.”
Insider reports claim that Cage, in typical money-grubbing fashion, jumped at the deal. “We had to promise him that we’d produce his first movie when the five years are up,” one Universal executive said. “So, uh, I guess we can all look forward to the action-thriller-period-biopic with Nic Cage as Nelson Mandela — in a theater near you, Thanksgiving 2017.” The executive then held back silent tears and kissed a signed poster of “The Godfather” hanging on his wall.
Despite what cinematic atrocities may occur upon Cage’s return in five years’ time, many throughout Hollywood have expressed great excitement over the deal, which they hope will provide a chance for the industry to restore at least an iota of its respectability and former glory. Cage himself, who has declined the press any direct comment, issued a statement through his publicist claiming that he was thrilled with the offer and the opportunity to “spend more time with my birds.”