Nicolas Cage’s legendary purchases include a stolen dinosaur skull, exotic animals, and one of New Orleans’ most notoriously haunted houses.
As an actor with a bizarre reputation, Nicholas CageLife is ripe for meta-movie opportunities, and one of its wild buys in 2006 makes way for a great horror movie idea. Nicolas Cage’s unique acting style has made him the subject of many internet memes centering on his expressive performances and memorable line delivery. Capitalizing on the iconic character of Nic Cage is the meta movie of 2022 The unbearable weight of massive talent, in which Cage played a fictionalized version of himself as he works to take down a drug kingpin responsible for the kidnapping of a prominent politician’s daughter.
While everything from Nicolas Cage’s method choices to his performance style has made him memorable in the public consciousness, his off-screen persona is also commanding attention. For example, as a self-proclaimed goth, Cage revealed in an interview (via Los Angeles Time) that he has a pet crow named Hoogan who is trained to hurl insults at the actor. Cage also made some wild purchases, from a collection of exotic animals to a Tarbosaurus skull he returned to a previous owner after discovering it had been stolen.
While buys like the Stolen Dinosaur Skull make for fantastic stories themselves, a notable Cage buy in 2006 sets up a great meta-horror movie. Nicolas Cage bought the mansion of infamous New Orleans socialite Delphine LaLaurie, who was portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven by Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates. LaLaurie was a serial killer slave owner who was investigated for serious mistreatment after a fire broke out in the LaLaurie mansion and revealed the mutilated and locked up corpses of seven enslaved victims ( via New Orleans History). Even given the already heinous standards of treatment for black people at the time, the people of New Orleans became so enraged at LaLaurie for the particularly inhumane actions towards her slaves that she ended up moving to Paris. Nicolas Cage seized the LaLaurie Mansion in 2009, but the history surrounding the house remains. Currently, the LaLaurie Mansion is a tourist attraction in New Orleans due to its reputation for being haunted.
There is a commendable list of Nicolas Cage horror films already in existence. Being in eight horror films, Cage’s memorable mark on the genre includes the famous mandy and the noteworthy 2006 remake of The wicker man. Especially with so many horror movies about haunted houses, du paranormal activity franchised to Claim, a meta horror movie about Cage’s actual ownership of LaLaurie’s haunted mansion wouldn’t be entirely out of the realm of possibility.
That said, there is the risk of capitalizing or romanticizing the mistreatment of LaLaurie’s slaves. Regarding the LaLaurie Mansion as a haunted tourist attraction, historian Tiya Miles has criticized the role the mansion and its depiction of surrounding pop culture plays in glorifying the torture and abuse suffered by LaLaurie’s slaves in its book, Tales of the Haunted South. While Nic Cage’s unique ownership of the LaLaurie Mansion could offer some interesting grounds for a meta-horror movie, whether or not it’s the actual mansion or Nicholas Cage himself is in the film, such an idea should be approached with extreme caution. Highlighting the country’s problematic history through a depiction of Delphine LaLaurie’s actions might be viable, but any film should move away from risking an irreverent tone and instead provide more direct social commentary without being exploitative.
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