If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Film, like all art, often imitates life. And when the life the art is imitating is that of a giant, wild personality like actor Nicolas Cage, I am instantly intrigued. Such is the case with 'Action No. 1,' which centers on the real-life theft of Cage's prized, and exceedingly valuable, Superman comic back in 2000. The project, penned by 'Reno 911' creators Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, has just been picked up by Lionsgate. The film will revolve around a group of comic book nerds who plan an elaborate heist to steal Cage's 1938 Action Comics issue featuring the first appearance of Superman. The comic book was lost to Cage for over a decade until it was recovered from an abandoned storage locker in 2011. Cage then sold the comic, which pulled in a cool $2.1 million at auction. It has been suggested, though not confirmed, that Cage will play himself in the film. No word yet on who will be directing.
This is a pretty decent concept for a comedy and the whole based-on-a-true-story angle is a nice bonus. The story of Cage's lost comic book would be somewhat interesting, but I feel it would be better served if the film delved more deeply into the eccentric actor's otherwise massive comic book collection in general and why he collects them. Also interesting would be to touch on the fact that at one point, Cage was in line to play the Man of Steel and how that could have effected his attachment to the comic book. However, and I want to be emphatically clear on this, there is no reason to make this movie if Nicolas Cage does not play himself. The thing about Cage is that, as whacked out as he is, he is also entirely self-aware. He's in on the joke. This explains things like his recent hysterical 'SNL' appearance as he stoically sat alongside Andy Samberg's exaggerated interpretation of the actor. To do a film like this and not have the man himself to lend a little self-effacing humor and personal context negates the merits of producing the movie in the first place. We can cast all the quirky young actors we want to play the geeky thieves, but without Cage, there is no movie.
What do you guys think? Would you be interested in a movie like this with or without Cage?