Nicolas Cage declined two significant roles for a compelling reason

Nicolas Cage had the opportunity to shape his career in a drastically different direction. Known for his eccentric roles that have captivated audiences across genres, Cage could have added even more iconic performances to his repertoire. In the 1990s, the actor was presented with the chance to be a part of two blockbuster film trilogies that would have undoubtedly left a lasting mark on cinematic history: The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix. However, Cage made the poignant decision to turn down these roles, a decision grounded in a deeply personal and noble reason.

In a 2022 interview with People Magazine, Cage revealed that he declined roles in The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix because he didn’t want to be away from his son Weston for an extended period. This disclosure offered a rare glimpse into Cage’s priorities, highlighting his commitment to being present for his family, especially during his son’s formative years. While imagining Cage in the roles of iconic characters like Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings or a character in The Matrix is intriguing, the actor’s dedication to family prevailed over the allure of these cinematic opportunities.

Cage’s choice to prioritize family over career is consistent with his real-life values. In the interview, he emphasized that there’s no version of himself that doesn’t prioritize spending time with his children, showcasing a side of Nicolas Cage that goes beyond the eccentric characters he portrays on screen. His commitment to family is evident not only in his decision to forgo roles in major film franchises but also in his personal life, having three children through subsequent marriages.

Reflecting on his career choices, Cage shared with Newsweek that he doesn’t dwell on regrets, considering them a “waste of time.” Instead, he looks forward to new opportunities that may come his way. While acknowledging that there were movies he might have benefited from making, Cage mentioned The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix as prominent examples. Although he didn’t explicitly state which role he coveted in The Matrix, it was revealed that he had hoped to portray Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.

Viggo Mortensen ultimately took on the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, delivering a performance that has become synonymous with the character. Cage, however, expressed contentment with his decision, noting that he can now enjoy these movies as an audience member. The idea of Cage as Aragorn adds an intriguing “what if” element to the cinematic landscape, but the actor’s fulfillment in watching these films from the sidelines underscores the significance of his family-oriented decision.

In addition to The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, Cage also came close to portraying another iconic character: Superman. The actor was set to play the Man of Steel in the Tim Burton-directed/Kevin Smith-penned Superman Lives, a project that never materialized. Despite missing out on the chance to portray Superman on the big screen, Cage found solace in playing other comic book characters, such as Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Big Daddy in Kick-Ass. Interestingly, he revisited the role of Superman in a multiverse sequence in The Flash (2023), providing a unique opportunity to embody the character briefly.

Nicolas Cage’s journey in Hollywood is not just a tale of the roles he took on but also a narrative of the roles he chose to decline for the sake of family. While the cinematic landscape may have looked different with Cage in The Lord of the Rings or The Matrix, his commitment to being present for his children remains a testament to the actor’s values beyond the silver screen.

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