Before he began his alarming slide into mediocrity over the last decade, one that he finally seems to be arresting by signing onto a variety of crazy upcoming movies that see him as a martial arts master battling aliens, a janitor trying to survive a night in a theme park where animatronic animals are trying to kill him and a fictionalized version of himself, Nicolas Cage was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
After winning an Academy Award for Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas in 1995, he decided to try his hand at action movies and headlined a trifecta of all-time greats in the space of twelve months thanks to The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off, and soon became a fixture of blockbusters that came armed with massive budgets.
Despite once being a proven box office draw, though, the 56 year-old hasn’t starred in a live-action project that cost $100 million or more since 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The fantasy epic saw the actor play an immortal wizard in modern day New York and was clearly designed with franchise potential in mind, but a combination of tepid reviews and a middling gross of $215 million saw any plans for a sequel nixed at the first hurdle.
The film doesn’t come anywhere close to capitalizing on the potential of having such a unique and eccentric presence as Cage dabbling in the supernatural and occult, but The Sorcerer’s Apprentice seems to have found a new lease of life since being added to the Disney Plus library, and is currently the ninth most popular title on the platform. Jon Turteltaub’s effort might not have been good enough to warrant any follow-ups, but at least it now looks to gain an entirely new audience a decade later in the world of streaming.