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The Surprising Fantasy Epic Nicolas Cage Regrets Passing On

For a guy who has done far more than his fair share of indie films, B-horror movies, and cheap actioners, actor and Coppola relation (via EW) Nicolas Cage has also appeared in plenty of blockbusters.

He'd wowed audiences previously with dynamic performances in mainstream dramas and comedies like "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Moonstruck," but Cage's role in 1996's "The Rock" was a different venue for the performer. He got to be one of the leads of a big-budget action movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and his strange energy somehow still worked for the plot's mayhem. The success of "The Rock" led to Cage appearing in a string of Bruckheimer productions, including "Con Air," "Gone in Sixty Seconds," and "National Treasure."

Eventually, however, even after roles in films such as Disney blockbuster "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," Cage largely abandoned large-scale Hollywood. He told Variety in a 2021 interview that he preferred the creative freedom of the indie film world: "On independent movies, you have more freedom to experiment and be fluid. There's less pressure and there's more oxygen in the room."

While Cage has claimed that he has no regrets about his career, there is one fantasy film he wishes he hadn't turned down.

We could've seen Nicolas Cage as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings

Nicolas Cage defiantly told Newsweek in 2015, "I don't really have any regrets. I think regret is a waste of time." But he did acknowledge that certain movies he turned down could have been great for him, one of them being a certain epic fantasy trilogy about the quest to destroy an evil, cursed ring.

Yes, that's correct. Cage turned down a role in "The Lord of the Rings," specifically that of Aragorn, telling the magazine, "There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years."

The role eventually went to Viggo Mortensen instead, and movie history was made. It's hard to say if 1999 Cage would have been the right casting choice to play the Ranger of the North, but he'd have definitely made for an interesting Aragorn.