Man, we love stories about “almosts” in Hollywood. Tom Selleck almost played Indiana Jones. Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Bella in Twilight. Julia Roberts was offered Meg Ryan’s part in Sleepless in Seattle. So many different ways that classic movies could have pivoted. Like, Nic Cage might have been shouting for his mom to bring the meatloaf in Wedding Crashers.
Chaz might be one of Will Ferrell’s weirdest roles. He's in Wedding Crashers for a hot minute. And he’s there to convince Owen Wilson’s character that the path of being a wedding crasher leads to depression and doom. Chaz lives at home. He spends his day in a signature robe. He loves meatloaf. Hardly a role model. But Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin recently explained on the Spitballing Pod that the part almost went to Nic Cage, and now we need to see that footage. Said Dobkin:
So I needed a bottom out moment and I was like you know we talk about Chaz, what if you went to go see Chaz and he was crashing funerals? And it was just so grim that it sends you back to your friend. So Owen wrote most of that scene and it was really funny. We were trying to get Will till midnight the night before he was shooting. It was one day. We were having a very hard time confirming him and we had Nick Cage as a backup. I never told anyone that.
That’s how memorable Chaz was, as a character. And he would have been even MORE memorable if it was Nicolas Cage who came down those steps and confronted Owen Wilson with words of “wisdom,” to get him back on the right path. Cage certainly has the ability to lean into the insanity of it all. You see that photograph from Mandy up above, right? Cage essentially is going out of his way to out-Cage himself with each new project.
But Chaz could have been a very funny side cameo for an actor who absolutely has a sense of humor about his career and how he’s perceived in the industry. Hell, Nic Cage is currently working on a movie called The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, where he plans to play a fictionalized version of himself, re-enacting classic Cage movies from the 1990s such as Con Air and Face Off.
Sign us up, immediately.
Anywho, David Dobkin did get Will Ferrell at the last minute, and Nic Cage in 2005 was coming off of National Treasure, about to make The Weather Man, World Trade Center and The Wicker Man. So, everyone won. Kinda.