The star talked about taking inspiration from Humphrey Bogart's performance in 'African Queen' for Nick Powell's "wild" movie and how much he loves the "absurdist" aspects of genre films.
Nicolas Cage's prolific output in recent years has cemented his reputation as one of the busiest A-list actors with a bewildering number of projects either in development, in production or about to be released.
Interspersed between Hollywood movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and critically acclaimed indie hits like Mandy, the Oscar-winner has enthusiastically embraced genre fare such as hunting thriller Primal, which hits select theaters and is also available to stream on demand today.
Directed by Nick Powell, who worked with Cage on the 2014 period epic Outcast, Primal tells the story of a hunter named Frank Walsh who captures a rare white jaguar and in his attempts to transport the big cat to his buyers is trapped on a container ship with a prisoner who is being shipped by the NSA back to the U.S. The prisoner, who is a rogue assassin, manages to escape his cage and release the jaguar too, forcing Walsh to capture both man and beast before its too late. The filmalso stars Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, LaMonica Garrett and Michael Imperioli.
Before Primal's release, Cage spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about working with Powell again, accessing his "inner jaguar" to take on the role, the influence of Humphrey Bogart on his performance and how he loves to lean into the "absurdist" aspects of the film.
I was lucky enough to see Primal and it is a lot of, well, wild fun. So I guess my first question is, what parts in particular did you really enjoy on this film? Because it looked like you enjoyed a lot of it.
Well, thank you. I haven't seen the movie myself yet, but I will say that I was thrilled to be reunited with Nick Powell. He's a director that I enjoyed working with on Outcast. Neither of us were too happy with the way that film [was supported.] So we were looking for an opportunity to collaborate again and when he brought me the script to Primal well, I thought this is perfect because it is really meant to be a wild ride, a lot of fun. I tried to embrace the title itself, in that here I am facing off against a white jaguar and facing off with a man twice my size. Trying to figure out how I can access my inner jaguar if you will to stay in the ring with them.
I was in good hands with Nick. He really knows how to [film] fight sequences. But he is also great with character and character development. We talked a lot about some of our favorite actors and performances, like [Humphrey] Bogart African Queen.
Was Bogart an influence?
Yeah. Not that I could ever be as great as Humphrey Bogart but [Powell and I] talked about how I could at least borrow and emulate that kind of energy and get the perfect character that Bogart would play, you know someone who is not a people person, he's an isolationist, he's alone in the jungle and he just wants to be with his animals. So I thought that the idea of having all these toxic animals and also the jaguar itself and then having to square off with somebody twice my size would be a wonderful absurd adventure and hopefully entertaining.
Given the premise of Primal,there are slightly absurdist elements, did you want to lean into that aspect? Did you think "let's go for it"?
Right, right absurdist. I think that's a great way [to describe it]. I love that. I love situations that are so unpredictable that you can find the comedy in it and you can also find the danger in it. I like being on that fine line of which way is this going to go and hopefully be a little unpredictable. In my own life I try to keep things calm and peaceful as I can, so when I get an opportunity to put something on camera that's hopefully dangerous, that's absurdist and wild, that's always a cathartic and enjoyable experience for me.
There are lots of great lines in the film, I especially liked the "regular Einstein!" line. Are these lines improvised or were they in the script?
A lot of them were improvised and that's one of the great pleasures of working with Nick. We stick to the blueprint, which is the script, but go off page when it's right. You know, [the line] "you kill my cat, I'll blow your head off!" that was a lot of fun to say. [The line] "great pandas in the San Diego zoo" all of that stuff comes out of the comfortable relationship I have Nick Powell.
Speaking of Nick, who you worked with before on Outcast, how does it compare working with him to say some other directors you've worked with recently like Panos [Cosmatos] and Dimitri[Logothetis]? How, was/is it different?
Nick, like [ Mandy director] Panos, is somebody who is not only terrific with choreography, he also is really keen on the character development. And I have wanted to work with him again after the experience on Outcast—I knew that we had more to say together. And I feel the same about Panos. I mean, I think that Panos and I got up to something pretty, pretty wonderful [on Mandy], that was all from Panos' imagination. And [ Primal] is from Nick's imagination, so I knew I was in good hands with both of them.
[ Jiu Jitsu director] Dimitri had the added factor of being an actor himself. So that was fun to work with him and I was delighted that we were going to do something that was really far out, combining martial arts with aliens. I like the idea of not repeating myself and putting myself in different situations in film and hopefully bring something a little bit unique. Dimitri was terrific with the character development as well and we talked a lot about that. Now, in Primal [as I said] I was playing someone inspired by Bogart in African Queen,But with Dimitri I was trying to channel a little Dennis Hopper. I love him so much in Apocalypse Now. It's always great to work with directors who allow you to celebrate your heroes.
Back to Primal, in the film you play a hunter or is it more accurate to say animal poacher? That's a really controversial profession, did that bother you at all?
I would say my character, he's not a desirable man. He's not a hunter in that he kills animals, he's taking them and selling them. I don't think he's a good guy, but he has to transform or learn a better way by the end movie. I love animals. But I liked it in the script that he was somebody that had a lot of edge, but he's not necessarily somebody I would want to spend time with. But he does go through a transformation by the end. The idea, ultimately, is that man is the problem and not the animals.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
'Severance' is the latest series to land at the newly launched streamer from Endeavor Content.
Add Adam Scott and Ben Stiller as the latest high-profile names to head to Apple TV+.
Scott has been tapped to star in the straight-to-series, 10-episode drama Severance, which is exec produced and directed by DGA winner Stiller Escape at Dannemora.
Severance is a workplace thriller that is set at Lumen Industries, a company looking to take work-life balance to a new level. Scott will star as Mark, an employeewith a dark past trying to put himself back together.
Dan Erickson created the series, and will pen the scripts and exec produce alongside Chris Black Outcast, Desperate Housewives. Stiller's Red Hour Productions' Nicky Weinstock and Jackie Cohn will also exec produce. Big Little Lies and Parks and Recreation grad Scott will also be credited as a producer.
This is Stiller's latest TV foray following Showtime's awards darling limited series Escape at Dannemora. He also exec produces The CW's sophomore drama In the Dark. He's repped by WME, Untitled and Gang Tyre. Scott, meanwhile, counts two seasons of HBO's Big Little Lies, Fox's Ghosted and NBC's The Good Place among his credits.He's with WME, Rise Management and Ziffren Brittenham. Erickson is with Heroes and Villains Entertainment and Wertheimer Austen.
Severance, which has been in the works for months, hails from Endeavor Content, the combined financing and sales efforts of WME and IMG. Endeavor Content also produces Apple TV+'s recently renewed Jason Momoa drama See and its upcoming Truth Be Told.
Apple TV+ launched Nov. 1 at a cost of $5 a month. The platform has been aggressively spending billions on scripted originals as it builds a roster of library content in a bid to provide additional value to Apple
On their first night out together after meeting on a dating site for widowed septuagenarians OK Boomer?, Roy Courtnay Ian McKellen and Betty McLeish Helen Mirren take in a screening of “Inglourious Basterds” at a London cinema. It's the summer of 2009, and neither of these characters knows what happens at the end of Quentin Tarantino's revisionist World War II extravaganza. Leaving the theater, Roy scoffs at what they've just watched: “Young people will think that's what actually happened.” Betty isn't so sure — she argues that the modern world has done more to clarify history than it has to obscure it.
More than just a crafty bit of foreshadowing the full mirth of which isn't clear until almost two hours later, this early scene appears to set up a pleasantly middle-brow thriller about our power to alter the past. If Bill Condon's “The Good Liar” never manages to follow through on that promise — despite gesturing broadly in that general direction from time to time — this old-fashioned snack of a movie is still rather satisfying in its way. Pleasant and preposterous in almost precisely equal measure, the film never offers anything less than two all-time British actors having the time of their lives, which makes it hard to get frustrated that it seldom offers anything more. As far as Condon/McKellen collaborations this is their fourth, it's manna from heaven compared to “Beauty and the Beast.”
When Roy first meets Betty over a spot of lunch, the two lonely hearts try to cut through the bullshit as fast as they can. They've only got so much time left on the clock, and so there's no use beating around the bush. Roy — a suspiciously affable old bloke who's prone to heavy breathing and warbling jowls — bemoans that online dating is “a system for matching the delusional with the hopeless.” Betty — a bottle of distant starlight who seems a mite too gullible and happy-go-lucky for a retired Oxford professor — doesn't ask which side of that coin she's meant to represent. They both admit that they lied about everything on their dating profiles, and resolve to be honest with each other. But the closer one gets, the more they lose perspective. And that cuts both ways, across delusional and hopeless alike.
It's obvious from the outset that Roy isn't the harmless fop he pretends to be. On the contrary, we learn almost immediately that he still works as a low-rent grifter who spends his free time hatching elaborate wire fraud schemes with his right-hand man “Downton Abbey” star Jim Carter and softening us up with cute slang like “tickety-boo.” And while it's hard to fathom what an aging grifter might want from a sweet lower-upper class grandma, it's clear that Roy's burgeoning companionship with Betty isn't on the up and up — even before he fakes a knee injury that leads him to move in with her.
Betty is a bit suspicious, herself. For one thing, her house feels as inert and unlived in as an Ikea showroom. For another, she tells Roy her net worth a cool €2.8 million as if she's never thought about it before. Last but not least — and even in her vulnerable state — she's just too damn smart to believe Roy when he tells her that combining their assets might reduce her financial exposure and lead to regular “windfalls” of new cash. And yet, to the horror of her peevish grandson Steven Russell Tovey, Betty falls for it head-first. They just have to kill some time while Roy moves everything into its right place. Perhaps a scenic trip to sunny Berlin will be in order? Surely there's not a twisty, Holocaust-adjacent backstory waiting in the wings of desire over there.
“The Good Liar”
Screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher doesn't always find the most elegant way of untangling this ridiculous web of deceit, nor does he arrive at a perfect workaround for the lengthy time period covered by Nicholas Searle's novel of the same name. Whereas the book was interspersed with flashbacks to Roy's time in the war, Hatcher's script collects them into two large chunks. And while the book took a similarly piecemeal approach to Roy's criminal history, Hatcher's script folds it into a present-tense storyline that runs parallel to the rest of the action. It's amazing how many laws a 79-year-old crook can break in a single afternoon! After a shockingly violent sequence in the bowels of the London Tube, it becomes impossible to tell if Roy is an artful codger or Professor Moriarty.
Then again, that's the idea; the central question of “The Good Liar” isn't whether Roy is decent or dishonest, but rather if he's too crooked to ever go straight. And the efficient shortcuts that Hatcher takes allow McKellen to toy with our sympathies like a cat with a bird carcass. Betty might be quick to absolve Roy by saying that his secrets are “between you, God, the Devil, and the dead,” but McKellen wrings a ton of fun from that tug-of-war. Watching his cheeks swell and crumple with every heartfelt twinge and half-truth is worth the price of admission unto itself, and Condon's clean direction makes sure that we never miss a single moment of empty bluster. Tobias A. Schliessler's cinematography leads McKellen into the darkness, as the film gets seduced by shadows as it careens towards the finish the final scenes are just evocative enough to make you wish that Condon had tipped the whole thing into full-blown chiaroscuro noir.
And yet, it's Mirren who's ultimately asked to carry this movie across the finish line, and she does so with oodles of her signature elan. It's a rare actor who can split the difference between an airport thriller and a historical reckoning — who's able to conflate the silly with the serious in a way that completely erases the difference — but Mirren is more than up to the challenge. The final stretches of Condon's film are so ludicrous that you almost feel swindled for caring about the movie until that point, but Mirren grounds one plot twist after another with the gravity of her conviction and a little help from Carter Burwell's lilting, uneasy, “Mr. Holmes”-esque score. “The Good Liar” may not have much to say about redemption, entrapment, or the fibs that can hold a friendship together, but the past is only so important to a wicked little thriller that delights in the moment at hand.
Warner Bros. will release “The Good Liar” in theaters on November 15.
Amazon has unveiled a new slate of French originals including a local version of hit British format Love Island, a period drama from Borgia writer Marie Roussin and a spy drama from Narcos and Hannibal producer Gaumont.
The SVOD service is making a French version of ITV Studios entertainment series Love Island, which airs on CBS in the U.S., and has commissioned eight-part series Voltaire, Mixte and Operations Totems as well as a new adventure reality competition.
The shows were announced at a showcase held in Paris this morning.
Voltaire, Mixte takes place in an all-male high school when women are allowed in for the first time. Set in 1960s France, the series will look at the relationships and “hormonal fireworks” of the time. It will cover topics such as love, emancipation, sexuality and self-acceptance.
Roussin is showrunner and the series is produced by Hotel de la Plage producer En Voiture Simone and Autopilot Entertainment, the LA-based production company set up by Eleonore Dailly and Edouard de Lachomette, responsible for Netflix's first French-language feature film I Am Not An Easy Man.
The series is currently in pre-production and will launch in 2021.
Meanwhile, Operations Totems is a love story between two enemy spies. From East Berlin to Paris, from Northern Africa to the USSR, the action thriller is set in 1964 in the midst of the Cold War. It follows Francis Morizet, secret agent, struggling to carry his legend of a father's mantle as he heads into the field for the first time and stumbles upon Lyudmila, newly KGB. In the middle of continuous illegal intelligence operations between the SDECE and the CIA, they will struggle for their countries and against the love they feel for each other.
The series is co-written by Juliette Soubrier Zone Blanche, and co-created by Olivier Dujols Falco who also serves as showrunner. It is produced by Gaumont and starts filming in 2020 for a 2021 TX.
Separately, it has also ordered an adventure reality series, The Missing One. The series, which is produced by WeMake and co-created by Borderline Media, is set in Australia and sees four teams of celebrities and their relatives taking part in a series of challenges. One member of each trio has secretly agreed to disappear from the very beginning and join the same hidden location: The Headquarters. The teams on the road are then on a mission to find their Missing One. The first team to find their Missing One will win a grand prize up to €200,000, which they will give to the charity of their choice.
“We know that viewers in France want to see unique, authentic and entertaining stories that they truly connect with, and we're committed to producing the widest variety of quality French programming exclusively for Prime members that delivers against that,” said Georgia Brown, Director of European Amazon Original series for Prime Video. “Featuring drama, spy action, reality, adventure, music and social revolution, there isn't a genre or topic we aren't considering right now and we're so excited to announce these four new French Amazon Original productions designed to appeal to our French Prime Video viewers.”
“V oltaire, Mixte is a school-based drama like you've never seen before. We're very excited to be working with the extremely talented Marie Roussin on a series that will deal with the societal and sexual revolution of 1960s France. It is mischievous, bold and deeply rooted in highly charged, compelling characters,” Brown added. “ Operations Totems is an epic, action-packed thriller and a unique take on the spy genre. At the heart of this series is a love story, but along the way our characters are caught up in manipulation and lies.”
We have a brand new trailer for Color Out of Space. This is a movie that may not be on everyone's radar, but it has several angles of intrigue to it. For one, it's another seemingly wild Nicolas Cage flick, and there have been several of those recently that suggest such adventures are worth our time. This also marks the return of director Richard Stanely, who hasn't directed a full feature in more than two decades. Plus, they're both playing around in the world of H.P. Lovecraft, just to ice the cake. And based on this trailer, that all makes for a crazy combination.
The trailer kicks off by presenting us with the portrait of a happy family, living a quiet life far removed from the city. Things seem tranquil. That is until a meteor comes crashing to Earth near their home, which adds a little color quite literally to their slice of rural living. Things then begin to get strange as the mystery surrounding the impact deepens. Weird creatures come to life. Violence erupts. Lots of bright colors flash and, oh yes, Nicolas Cage screams like a deranged man while holding a shotgun. As if that wasn't enough, Tommy Chong shows up in what looks to be a rather fitting role. In a word, crazy.
Nicolas Cage, who won an Oscar for his work in Leaving Las Vegas, has been relegated to many less-than-stellar home video features over the last chunk of his career. Fortunately, over the last year or so, the tide has started to shift as several of his more recent efforts such as Mandy have brought some gems to the surface. Color Out of Space looks like it could certainly continue that trend. Meanwhile, Richard Stanley hasn't directed a feature since the debacle that was The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996. But the man behind Hardwire is back and he's making a rather flashy return. Stanley co-wrote the screenplay alongside Scarlett Amaris.
Color Out of Space centers on a family whose world is shaken up after a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm. Nathan Gardner Nicolas Cage and his family find themselves fighting a mutant extraterrestrial organism that infects both their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural existence into a full-blown nightmare. The movie is based on H.P. Lovecraft's beloved 1927 short story, The Colour Out of Space.
The cast also includes Joely Richardson Nip/Tuck, Madeleine Arthur To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Brendan Meyer The OA, Julian Hilliard The Haunting of Hill House, Elliot Knight Titans and Q'Orianka Kilcher Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Those who have screened the movie so far have generally been kind, as it currently holds an 84 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Let the Cage Renaissance continue! Color Out of Space hits theaters on January 24, 2020, from RLJE Films. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.
, , ] HomeMovie TrailersColor Out of Space Trailer Has Nicolas Cage & Tommy Chong Fighting a Technicolor Nightmare
Get ready to get weird with Color Out of Space, a film that pairs director Richard Stanley with Nicolas Cage. Stanely has been absent from the world of feature filmmaking ever since his disastrous misadventures trying to make The Island of Dr. Moreau, but now he’s back with Nic Cage doing his Nic Cage thing, and adapting H.P. Lovecraft to boot. The first Color Out of Space trailer is here, and it promises something strange. Watch it below.
Color Out of Space Trailer
These days, Nicolas Cage movies come with a certain expectation. We assume that Cage will freak out and go wild, behaving as if he’s from another planet. Sometimes it really does turn out like that, sometimes not. Color Out of Space definitely delivers on the “Cage going wild” expectations, though. His performance is downright unhinged here, almost as if he’s in a completely different movie.
In Color Out of Space, “After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner Nicolas Cage and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism as it infects their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural life into a living nightmare.” Having Cage be in a Lovecraft adaptation is a big enough deal to catch the eye of genre fans. Throwing in Richard Stanely, who hasn’t helmed a movie in decades, and Color Out of Space is bound to be irresistible.
I caught the movie at TIFF, and came away completely befuddled. As I wrote in my review:
One thought kept running through my head as I watched Color Out of Space: “What the fuck is this?” It’s become almost a cliche at this point to highlight how “weird” and “bonkers” the latest Nicolas Cage movie is. But even those well-versed in the art of Cage’s self-titled Nouveau Shamanic acting style won’t be prepared for what’s in store with Richard Stanley‘s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s story. The prospect of Cage uniting with such a fascinating director as Stanely – whose career hit a major roadblock after the disaster of shooting The Island of Doctor Moreau – is too intriguing to pass up. But is the end result actually worthwhile? Or just so damn weird that it has to be seen to be believed?
Color Out of Space, starring Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Elliot Knight, Josh C. Waller, Q’orianka Kilcher, and Tommy Chong, arrives January 24, 2020.