Nicolas Cage has made a career out of making unpredictable film choices. His acting resume is quite all over the place, with everything from thrillers to action to comedies. The latest entry in his filmography is the action-horror film Willy’s Wonderland and, according to the team behind the film, Cage’s love for reptiles impact on the story.
Willy’s Wonderland director Kevin Lewis and screenwriter G.O. Parsons recently opened up about how their animatronic-centric horror film came together. While talking to Entertainment Weekly, they spoke on the filmmaking process along with other topics related to the action-horror film. And Parsons revealed how Cage’s love of reptiles influenced the script:
Nic is into reptiles, he is into amphibians, and he's into dinosaurs. He was the one who was like, ‘Hey, make this thing an alligator, make this thing a chameleon. Let's get a turtle instead of a regular mammal.’
G.O. Parson’s words spoke to how much influence Nicolas Cage has when it comes to films getting greenlit. Cage’s small suggestion effectively changed Willy's Wonderland script for the better. But given the high profile Cage has in Hollywood, Kevin Lewis and Parsons were able to get the film made. Ultimately, Cage’s eccentricities made an already offbeat character even more unique -- so much so that Lewis and Parsons have even alluded to possibly featuring Cage’s character in a solo film.
Nicolas Cage’s turn as the Janitor in Willy's Wonderland was the latest in a series of horror flicks he’s headlined. He starred in 2018’s Mandy and 2020’s Color Out of Space. Even when doing horror, Cage still knows how to pick offbeat and eccentric characters in his work. Whether it’s films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Ghost Rider, the actor is known for playing guys who remain outside of mainstream consciousness. Based on his collaborator's words, Cage managed to work his quirks into the script.
Off camera, Nicolas Cage is known for his eccentricities and quirks, which have made him one of Hollywood’s most exciting personalities. So it's easy to see how he translates those to his roles. The actor will soon add another eccentric role to his resume, as he prepares to play Tiger King’s Joe Exotic in a miniseries. And this is just one of several roles lined up over the next year.
Not all actors have the level of creative input Nicolas Cage possesses, and it's possible that some filmmakers may not want their stars to infringe too heavily on their vision. But given the decades of work Cage has done, he is honestly entitled to have some say in his projects, especially if his presence helps to elevate the project. If you want to see Nicolas Cage’s The Janitor in action, you can catch Willy’s Wonderland on Vudu and Prime Video.