In all fairness, I’d started this before Devin’s two pieces, and then had to step away from the computer for a bit. So call this Nic Cage story 0.1 if the day’s deluge of Cage seems like too much.
Or just call it a Werner Herzog story, because deep down that’s what anything concerning the Bad Lieutenant reboot will be. Is reboot even the right word? I think of that as applied to adaptations of material from other media, so that one film take has to reboot the cinematic pulse left low by previous versions. Anyway.
Cage, speaking to MTV, echoes previous comments from Herzog that this is an all-new character. Cage says “[I play] a whole new character. He’s nothing like Harvey [Keitel’s] character.” Furthermore, “[The original] movie was a result of Judeo-Christian programming. This one is much more
existential.” MTV bemoans the likely lack of nun rape, but from my perspective it’s all good as long as the character is obsessed with betting baseball and taking heroin. Hell, if you just boil that down to ‘he digs sports and drugs’ and put it in Herzog’s hands, I’ll probably be happy*. As for nudity, Cage is cagey. Personally, what I expect to miss most in this version is New York City as a character; Ferrara’s original is one of the great, seedy takes on the city.
*(Then again, there’s always Invincible, Herzog’s rather tepid take on Erik Jan Hanussen with Tim Roth. The director is in the midst of a real hot streak now, but not every dramatic project he’s tackled has hit. This could actually be a disaster, in which case we’ll still be fine, as long as someone does die.)