Nic Cage has had one of the more interesting runs in Hollywood that we’ll ever see froman actor. He’s taken nearly every role (maybe whether he wanted to or not) and brought his particular flavor, style and panache each and every time. Which makes the trailer for his latest film, Willy’s Wonderland all that much more weird, exciting, odd, bloody, maybe offputting, but definitely interesting.
Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Willy’s Wonderland…
Weirdly, Willy’s Wonderland was originally titled Wally’s Wonderland. The movie with that title even got a poster…
From the trailer, we get the idea hammered home that Nic Cage is out there grinding whatever comes his way. Directed by Kevin Lewis, Willy’s Wonderland follows a janitor (Cage) who is employed cleaning a now-defunct amusement park. If horror movies have taught us anything, it’s taking gigs like this only leads to massive amounts of bloodshed and any number of horrific things going down when the big lights go off.
In the trailer we see this satanic version of a big scale Chuckie Cheese come to “life” in a way we would only want to happen in our nightmares. From evil-looking clowns, messages on mirrors, random cleavage, a shotgun-toting granny, blood-soaked birthday cakes, animatronics with evil ideas of their own and much more, the 15 second trailer packs a lot in. And it all looks gloriously B-rated.
Presumably, Nic Cage’s janitor is signed up here to fight his way out of all manners of childish evil while also protecting a group of teenagers who happen to stumble into the mess. No second-rate horror movie is complete with high schoolers inserting their naivety and arrogance into the plot. I doubt any (or most) of them make it out alive when it’s all said and done.
Nic Cage’s career has been filled with a number of massive hits. He got started back in the late 80s with Raising Arizona and Moonstruck in the same year and eventually turned those into action/ big-budget runs with films like The Rock, Face/Off, and Con Air in the late 1990s. Things were chugging along nicely even into the early 2000s with the National Treasure franchise and Ghost Rider for the popcorn angle and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans hitting it for the critics.
But in 2009 things started going a little south for Nic Cage when he ran into a bunch of legal and financial issues. The IRS claimed he’d failed to pay about $6 million dollars in taxes on various items It also appears his ex-business manager had bilked him out of millions as well. When it was all said and done, Cage had found a way to blow through more than $150 million.
The financial trouble meant that Nic Cage had to get to work. And it began a run of movies which appeared like he was willing to say yes to almost anything. Since 2009 the actor has more than 40 credits to his name with roles that land almost everywhere on the cinematic map (most of them bad).
For as weird as the Willy’s Wonderland teaser trailer looks, it might not be for everyone. But if you are a fan of Nic Cage, especially the previous (rather respected) iteration, you might not have to wait all that long for him to make a comeback as a previous character. Recent rumors have the Marvel Cinematic Universe approaching Cage to reprise his role as Johnny Blaze in a Ghost Rider sequel. Considering the way the MCU is going, this wouldn’t necessarily be a star turn for the actor but could rather just be a bit part in a different universe to pay homage to the original character.
And even before that, Nic Cage is taking to the small screen playing Joe Exotic in an Amazon version of Netflix’s Tiger King. This might be the role Cage was born to play, a southern drawling, aloof weirdo who also happened to be at the center of one of the craziest stories of all time. The eight-episode series is currently in post-production.
In all, Nic Cage’s legal and financial troubles have meant we’ve gotten way more of him on the screen (for better or worse) than we could have ever dreamed. He’s been in every manner of movie over the last decade and soon we’ll get to see him beating kids funhouse characters to death. It seems fitting.