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Nic Cage Has A New Take On Wicker Man’s Infamous ‘Not The Bees’ Scene, And It’s Bananas

Nicolas Cage as Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Nic Cage is doing some awesome things in Hollywood right now; in fact, the only person I’m more excited about getting a second wind in their career is Brendon Fraiser and the Brenaissance. Nicolas Cage was the butt of plenty of jokes after churning out a number of outrageously bad movies, but it seems as though both he and fans are leaning way into it now. This is especially true given that he stars as himself in the upcoming The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and I can not get enough of the star. Cage has now come forward with a new take on one of his more mainstream bombs, The Wicker Man, and the famous “Not the bees!” scene, and it’s so wildly obvious now.

The Wicker Man was nominated for a bunch of awards, like Worst Picture and even won the award for Worst Remake. Nicolas Cage was nominated for Worst Actor and Worst Couple, paired with his bear suit he wears while being burned alive in the film. That’s hilarious, but apparently the film was supposed to be bad? Or, at least, it was supposed to be funny.

In an interview with Indiewire before the premiere of his meta film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage says that he is “going on the record” with the fact that the ridiculousness and humor throughout The Wicker Man was 100% on purpose. Here is what he says, exactly:

I know people had fun with that even if they thought the comedy was not intentional. I’m going on record right now: That is not a fact. Neil [LaBute] and I both knew how funny it was.

Honestly, I am beyond glad that I am just now hearing that Nic Cage knew he was being ridiculous in The Wicker Man, almost 20 years after the film’s release. If people knew he was in on the joke, I really don’t think it would be the iconically horrible film that it is.

Nic Cage’s ability to make horrible films and laugh at himself has earned him a cult following of fans, which he eggs on even further by playing into their whims. Cage has crashed his own themed marathons and surprised fans, and he recently called a superfan who posted his phone number all over the SXSW convention for Cage. Ridiculous just works for the actor.

According to Nicolas Cage in the same interview, we could have been in for some more ridiculousness if the producers let him do what he wanted. Apparently he wanted to don a handlebar mustache for the bear suit scene. He also gives some props to the beautifully done, similarly inspired A24 film Midsommar, saying:

It probably would've been more clear how funny it was if [producer] Avi Lerner let me have the handlebar mustache that I wanted to wear and be burned in the bear suit. That would’ve been so horrifying, but they didn’t go for that because all the comedy would’ve emerged from this horror. But Ari Aster did it brilliantly in Midsommar. That was terrifying, but they didn’t have the vision that Neil and I had for it.

So basically The Wicker Man would have been more like Midsommar and actually scary if Nic Cage and director Neil LaBute didn’t see the film as being a big joke, got it. Honestly, I’m okay with living in a world where we can have both Nic Cage’s ridiculous version of a folk horror film, and the genuinely terrifying one that is Midsommar

I absolutely love what Nic Cage has become and that he is embracing his career and revealing new takes on his vast codex of works. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent releases to theaters in just a month on April 22nd, and is probably the new release film of 2022 that I am looking forward to most, as well as a lot of Nic Cage fans. Thankfully, the humor of his most upcoming film is very straightforward and we won’t have to wait over 20 years to know that it is very much on purpose.

Carlie Hoke
Carlie Hoke

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.