‘Renfield’ star Nic Cage says he doesn’t feel the need to join the MCU: ‘I’m Nic Cage’
Two rounds in the Marvel Universe as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider seems to have been enough for Nicolas Cage. While accepting the Variety Legend & Groundbreaker Award at the Miami Film Festival, the Renfield star fielded a question about whether he’d be interested in joining the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. "I don’t need to be in the MCU, I’m Nic Cage," he answered.
At the same time, he paid deference to the comic book publisher, given that his stage monicker (the actor’s true surname is "Coppola") was derived from Power Man himself. "I’ve gotta be nice about Marvel movies, because I named myself after a Stan Lee character named Luke Cage," he added. "What am I going to do, put Marvel movies down? Stan Lee is my surrealistic father. He named me."
Cage also touched on the matter of Marvel’s domination of the entertainment industry. The multi-billion dollar blockbuster franchise is often cited as the reason for why smaller, director-driven projects don’t receive as much studio support/funding as they once did.
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“I understand what the frustration is," the actor confessed. "I get it. But I think there’s plenty of room for everybody. I’m seeing movies like Tár. I’m seeing all kinds of artistic and independently driven movies. I think there’s plenty of room for everybody."
Cage will next appear in Chris McKay’s Renfield as Count Dracula. The horror-comedy-action title centers around the vampire’s right-hand man (another Marvel alumnus, Nicholas Hoult), who decides to quit after a century of servitude. But the neck-biting, coffin-dwelling fiend from Transylvania won’t accept his underling’s resignation without a fight.
"Some of the most talented artistic people now are making horror films," Cage remarked during his chat with Variety, going on to extol the virtues of genre storytelling.
"I think you can do so much. The reason why science fiction and horror is so important to me is that it gave me a format where I could express some of my more surrealistic and abstract dreams with film performance," he said. “Everybody is very sensitive right now. If you look at the science fiction format, you put it on a different planet, you put it in the future, what have you, you can pretty much say what you want, because it’s not right now. Oh, I didn’t I didn’t mean that — it was on a planet called Exeter or something. That’s where it happened. I didn’t mean that! You can get your freedom speech mojo on and do what you want."
Renfield swoops onto the big screen Friday, April 14.
In the meantime, head over to Peacock for a number of Cage classics like The Croods, Season of the Witch, Joe, Trespass, Bangkok Dangerous, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.