STARRING NICOLAS CAGE, GIOVANNI RIBISI, ANGELINA JOLIE, DELROY LINDO, ROBERT DUVALL DIRECTED BY DOMINIC SENA
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Nicolas Cage and Jerry Bruckheimer — the Dietrich and Von Sternberg of the ’90s together again.
Just in case you sided with Sean Penn in 1998 when he publicly lambasted Cage’s recent career choices, we’re here to tell you that Cage can be picky. In fact, although this remake of H.B. Halicki’s 1974 car-thief drama was rewritten specifically for Cage (who had done The Rock and Con Air with producer Bruckheimer), the actor initially took a pass. ”Nick said, ‘This doesn’t work,”’ recalls Bruckheimer, who went back to work with screenwriter Scott Rosenberg and director Sena (Kalifornia). Remembers Sena, ”When I read the original script…it was like My Dinner With Andre. People talked about everything, but nobody did anything.” The filmmakers ultimately decided to strengthen the relationship between the main characters: two siblings (Cage and Ribisi) with grand theft auto in their genes. The rewrites persuaded Cage to sign on, but the script still wasn’t finished when filming began last May. ”If you want Nic, they tell you, ‘This is when he’s available,”’ explains Sena. ”You can’t move the start date.” Executive producer Jonathan Hensleigh took over on-set writing duties. ”We’d sit in [Hensleigh’s] trailer and work on it,” says Sena. ”He’d open his computer and start typing with two fingers…. I was shooting more from the hip than usual.” (June 9)