Nicolas Cage Turned Down 'Lord Of The Rings' & The Trilogy Would Have Been So Different With Him In It
Ever feel like the rug has been pulled out from beneath you? That's how I felt when I learned that Nicolas Cage turned down a role in The Lord of The Rings, as the actor revealed in a new interview with Newsweek. That's right, the man who saved the Declaration of Independence in National Treasure and stole a baby in Raising Arizona was offered the role of Aragorn, King of Men, and he turned it down. What?!
“There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years,” Cage told Newsweek, adding that he doesn't regret his choice. “The thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these — especially with Lord of the Rings.”
For those who aren't Tolkien fanatics, Aragorn is the sexiest human to ever walk Middle Earth and is essential in helping Frodo destroy the One Ring. He rides horses, he woos elf ladies, and has a gorgeous mane of hair. In the Peter Jackson films, Aragorn is played by the sometimes bearded but always cranky, Viggo Mortensen. Which, in my opinion, should have been the only choice to be the bad-ass Aragorn from the start. But apparently, it wasn't. Learning that Cage could have played Aragorn totally blows my mind. It would have been like hearing that Christopher Nolan's first choice for Batman was Big Bird instead of Christian Bale. Or having Nicolas Cage play Superman in a Man of Steel reboot (oh, wait, that almost happened). It just wouldn't make any sense.
Why, Peter Jackson? Why did you think this was a good idea? I wonder what Frodo would have thought of this casting choice.
Thank goodness, fate was on our side and Cage declined the offer. I can say with the utmost confidence that the right person played the role of Aragorn. I can almost barely — just barely — think of how different the trilogy would look if Cage had been in it. For one thing, I imagine a lot more screaming and weird pronunciations of words. But maybe...
It Wouldn't Look That Different
Aragon is a human with rugged good looks that set him apart from the ethereal Elves of Middle Earth. He has long dark hair, an unshaven beard, and looks like he hasn't showered in weeks. It is not too hard to imagine Cage with this aesthetic, since he rocked a similar look in Con Air. Not quite as sexy as Viggo Mortensen, but not as bad as I was expecting, either.
The Leadership Style Would Be Changed
Aragorn is the leader of the band of misfits that sets out to destroy the One Ring. Cage played the leader of a group of criminals in Gone in 60 Seconds. This leads me to believe how his casting would change the Council of Elrond scene — mainly there would be more dramatic pauses and finger snapping.
The Accent Would Be... Interesting
The humanoid creatures of the Lord of the Rings trilogy speak with English, Scottish, and Welsh accents. Based off the trailer for The Outcast, it would appear that Cage would have struggled in that respect.
His Eyes Would Be Crazy
Viggo Mortensen is known for playing things cool. Nicolas Cage is known for playing things decidedly not cool. Plain and simple — Cage has crazy eyes. I can only imagine the final moments before the Battle of Minas Tirith and seeing this expression.
There'd Be An Odd Couple
One of Aragorn's major plotlines is his love affair with Arwen Evenstar (played by Liv Tyler), the half-elven daughter daughter of Elrond. I struggle picturing the daughter of Steven Tyler and Nic Cage living happily ever after.
So Many Unintentional Funny Moments Would Happen
Cage is hilarious, even when he isn't trying to be. The Wicker Man was a perfect case study in Nic Cage as a serious actor creating moments of hilarity. Whether its wearing a bear suit and punching people in the face or wearing a cage full of bees, Nic Cage has amazing comedic timing. I don't know how this would have gelled in The Lord Of The Rings — I'm guessing it wouldn't have gone over well.
That Nic Cage Style Of Delivery Would Come Out
It is a well-documented fact that Cage has a habit of passionately whispering important pieces of dialogue. It's kind of his signature trait. Imaging Aragorn's speech at the Black Gate as a whispered mess makes me die a little on the inside.
I'll just be honest: Viggo Mortensen is the only Aragon for me.
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