How “The Pig” Became the Cash Cow of Nicolas Cage

Enjoying renewed interest from all angles in Hollywood due to his acclaimed performance in the 2021 independent thriller PigNicholas Cage entered what can only be called the Renaissance.

After years of making independent films, the actor is in demand for live studio films for the first time since 2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. While he has occasionally done voice work in the studio, such as films like Croods And the Spider-Man inside the spider worldseriously returned with The unbearable weight of talent, a meta action movie released in April by Lionsgate in which Cage plays an actor named Nick Cage. Then he booked a rubber role as Dracula in the upcoming Universal Vampire Renfield. The sources say THR The actor has earned $7 million to lead Huge talent He earned nearly $3 million for Renfield a supporting role.

That’s a notable jump from the fees he’s been receiving for indie pumping after indie, some schlocky, some arty. He had six live credits in 2019, four in 2018 and five in 2017. His fee to lead those VOD films has fallen to the $1 million to $1.5 million range, with some profit sharing thrown in. At least a third of the budget for Pigthe film that changed its current trajectory, with sources saying it only cost $3 million.

On top of reopening the studio doors – plus Huge talent And the RenfieldIt is in various stages of discussions in order to supplement large productions such as national treasure And the remove the facePig’His success allowed the actor to raise his price. An independent film source says Cage’s bid is now $4 million.

Of course, this belated career recovery was nowhere near his heights as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the time, the actor reportedly asked for $20 million to make films like 2000 Gone in sixty seconds2002 contestants and 2004 national treasure. He earned $16 million for the 1998 Brian De Palma movie Snake-eyes.

That climax followed his Oscar-winning role in 1995 Leaving Las Vegas, earned by Cage…no pay at all. According to director Mike Figgis, neither he nor Cage ever received his $100,000 fee from the financier. Cage has been running steadily for over a decade at this point, with noteworthy credits including Arizona hike And the absent-minded. “Whatever,” Figgis said lightly on the October 4 episode of THR audio notation It happened in Hollywood. “Then my career took off again, and the next movie I made, I got paid really well. And within a year, [Cage] The movie was earning $20 million.”

after making Vegas But before he won the Oscar, Cage left his old agent Ed Limato, signed a contract with CAA and made the rockAnd the Con Air And the remove the facePunch One, Two, Three cemented Cage as a global action star.

Now, even in the midst of a renaissance that sees him currently shooting Ari Aster’s A24 dream scenariostill willing to follow him Vegas Instincts and betting on projects. Says the independent source, “He’ll offer discounts on things if he’s really into the project.”

Aaron Koch contributed to this report.

This story first appeared in the October 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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