Nicolas Cage Apparently Begged To Be In The Godfather: Part III, And It's Kind Of A Good Thing That He Didn't Get The Part

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

No matter how much an actor of any skill level may plead, there are some roles that remain just out of reach. Even a cinematic deity of madness and craft like Nicolas Cage knows this reality, as he begged his own uncle for a role in The Godfather Part III, but failed to land the gig. It’s kind of a good thing he didn’t get the part though, as the star of 2021’s sleeper hit Pig could have been in an awkward situation.

The Godfather Part III That Nicolas Cage Begged To Land

During this year’s Actor’s Roundtable from THR, Nicolas Cage was present alongside fellow buzz-worthy performers Andrew Garfield, Jonathan Majors, Simon Rex and Peter Dinklage. The annual discussion of hot topics and interesting career stories yielded another crop of behind-the-scenes facts that are pretty mind-blowing. Leave it to Nicolas Cage to have a story like the one he told about asking Francis Ford Coppola to play the role of Vincent Corleone in The Godfather Part III

This is a very embarrassing answer to your question, OK, because it involves family. So Uncle was doing Godfather 3, and I said, 'I really think I ought to be in your movie, Uncle. I really think it’s a good idea if you would cast me. I think I could play this part.' He was going to cast Andy Garcia, and I said, 'But I just see myself more as James Caan’s son, and he’s playing Sonny’s son. He’s not playing Michael’s son. He’s Sonny’s son. I just feel a little more James Caan.' It just wasn’t going to happen. Nope, not going to happen. So that was a movie I didn’t get let in that I really wanted to be in. There.

On paper, having Nicolas Cage playing Vincent in The Godfather: Part III could have been a great opportunity. During this era of his career, Cage was still riding high off of films like Moonstruck, and playing a part in the trilogy ending installment of such a mythic hit would have been a recipe for further success. Then again, judging how other castings within the project panned out, this could have been the most awkward role he could have ever landed. 

Why Nicolas Cage Dodged A Bullet By Not Landing The Godfather Part III

During the development of The Godfather Part II’s eventually infamous sequel, a series of other actresses were lined up for the role of Mary, Vincent’s cousin/love interest, and daughter to Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone. Through events that saw the likes of Julia Roberts and Winona Ryder passing on the project, Mary would eventually be played by future film director/Francis’ daughter, Sophia Coppola. Which would have seriously been awkward, as Nicholas Cage is her cousin.

Sure, the story of The Godfather Part III showed a romantic relationship between cousins, and that was definitely an awkward thing to take in. But if the casting for the final project wound up involving actual blood relatives, it would have only given the vastly-panned sequel even more of an infamous reputation. Perhaps that’s why, despite how much Cage begged his uncle for a role in his film, Francis Ford Coppola ultimately decided it shouldn’t happen. 

While upcoming Nicolas Cage movies will continue to challenge and excite fans of this legendary actor’s career, it’s a good thing that Cage didn’t land himself in the cast of The Godfather Part III. Even if the casting broke the way it should have, it was probably a movie destined to be overshadowed by its predecessors, and shrouded in infamy just the same. The only surprise would have been which factors led to that reception, and not even a 30th anniversary recut of the film could change that. 

As luck would have it, Pig is currently streaming on Hulu, so Nicolas Cage fans that haven’t seen the film yet can put themselves in the know. Cage will next be seen on the big screen in “the most Nicolas Cage movie ever,” as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is set to unleash only the Cagiest brand of crazy on April 22nd. Check out all of the other movies heading to theaters in the year to come with a quick trip to the 2022 release schedule

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.