Nicolas Cage explains why he turned down ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Matrix’

nicolas cage
Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

As the semi-fictionalized version of himself repeatedly stresses in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage isn’t really making a comeback because he never went away, but the actor’s stock is still undeniably higher than it’s been in a long time.

Having set his desire to star in as many VOD thrillers as possible to one side, the Academy Award winner has been on an incredible roll as of late, with the incoming meta action comedy scoring the best reviews of his entire career, dislodging his previous film Pig from the top of the all-time Cage rankings on Rotten Tomatoes.

Having previously spoken about the reasons both in and out of his control that saw big budget blockbuster offers dry up, Cage revealed that he’d turned down two of the most iconic franchises in history, explaining to People that committing to either The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings wasn’t worth the personal sacrifice.

“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.”

It wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that seeing Nicolas Cage parading around Middle-Earth in Peter Jackson’s classic trilogy may have been distracting to the point of breaking immersion, but there’s a distinct possibility that Cage has turned down even more famous projects that we don’t even know about.