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Post Info TOPIC: Unlocking Nicolas Cage's magic

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Unlocking Nicolas Cage's magic

I'm so looking forward to seeing this film because apart from Nic Alfred Molina is a favourite actor of mine and he's married to lovely British actress Jill

Here's an interesting interview from WalesOnline:

Unlocking Nicolas Cage's magic

Had it not been for that world-famous mouse, then Nicolas Cage would not be drinking ****tails on the 41st floor of a chic hotel in Barcelona with big-time producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Britains Alfred Molina.

They are discussing their latest movie The Sorcerers Apprentice, which is inspired by the immortal scene in Walt Disneys Fantasia in which Mickey Mouse plays an apprentice wizard whose attempts at cleaning up end in disaster.

But this movie adopts a rather different context. Set in New York City, Cage plays Balthazar Blake, a sorcerer and former student of Merlin, who has travelled for centuries searching for the Prime Merlinean, a descendant of Merlin who will be able to defeat the evil sorceress Morgana.

Enter geeky New York university physics student Dave (Jay Baruchel) whos about to have the lesson of his life.

Back in 1797, The Sorcerers Apprentice started life as a poem by German writer Goethe, was put to music a century later by Paul Dukas and then transformed into the animation by Disney in 1940.

But Cage, director and schoolfriend Jon Turteltaub and Pirates Of The Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer felt it was ripe for a new lease of life.


Cage, 46, came up with the idea of making a film about magic after watching Fantasia many times when he was a child.

Its almost bordering on a spiritual experience for me, because I saw the movie at such a young age, he says.

Disney studios would release it annually around the holidays and my parents would take me to the movie very late at night after all the festivities and I was in that bucolic twilight stage where I was nodding off to sleep and saw Walt Disneys dancing mushrooms as I was drifting off into this bliss world.

He took the idea to his Beverly Hills High School friend Turteltaub and Bruckheimer, who both worked with Cage on the National Treasure films.

In playing the role of the sorcerer and mentor, Cage turned to his own relationship with his father, literature professor August Coppola (brother of The Godfather films director, Francis Ford).

In some ways, the movie is a real love song to the teacher and student relationship, says Cage, looking intense, his hair now cropped again after the long flowing tresses of Balthazar.

My father was interested in expanding young peoples minds and exposed me to Fellini, Picasso, Orson Welles. So I was trying to draw on my memories of him with me as a young boy. He really had that wild hair, he looked like a mad scientist, so I wanted to give Balthazar that look.

For me, theres two favourite moments in the movie where Balthazar is saying to Dave, You have to stop worrying and start believing in yourself and another line which is, No one knows how much time we have with the people who are most important, enjoy it. This movie has a lot of heart.


You may not yet have heard of 28-year-old Baruchel, but 2010 is definitely his year, with three movies Shes Out Of My League, How To Train Your Dragon and Sorcerer all out in quick succession.

But the rising star swears he didnt plan it like that.

I know it looks as though Im like, Whats up? Baruchels here, taking you by storm, but its the culmination of four years work, he says.

Hes been acting since his teens, so he didnt feel like the apprentice on set of Sorcerer, but he was humbled by the old boys club atmosphere.

Nic and Jerry have made seven movies together and Jons been there for two of them, so it was like entering into a posse that had its own shorthand and understanding of each other, he says. But I never feel put off by that stuff.

Baruchel was more concerned about doing Mickey Mouse justice in the magic mops scene, where hes trying to clean up quickly before a big date.

Youd be hard-pressed to find any character that means more to everyone than Mickey Mouse does, so I was really scared cos I didnt want to ruin it. But I was excited by the fact that I could blow it so easily. Its kind of like serving blowfish at a sushi restaurant with one wrong cut you could kill everyone, he jokes.

I approached it with a kind of religious reverence goal one was to pay homage to Mickey and goal two was to look for moments to do my thing.

Baruchel did all his own stunts on set, including throwing plasma balls and dodging them.

During the training sequences where Im getting electrocuted, I was really throwing myself around with reckless abandon. I gave myself tinnitus on the set of Tropic Thunder because I refused to wear earplugs and on this one, I said, I dont need pads, Ill be fine. There were several nights where I walked around my apartment in NY like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

When he wasnt filming stunts, Baruchel amused the cast and crew with his impressions of Nic Cage.

Hes just a unique individual and he was prone to making ethereal observations like, What is it about danger thats so compelling? How can you not love the guy?


British stalwart Alfred Molina continues a long tradition of scene-stealing English baddie as Horvath, an evil sorcerer who has lost out in love to Balthazar and is threatening to release the evil sorceress Morgana and take over the world. Just why do Brits make such good baddies?

Molina says: It always makes me laugh because young actors go, Alan Rickman started that whole thing and I go, No, it goes way back to Sydney Greenstreet and Basil Rathbone.

Someone said is it a reaction to the American war of independence, we lost the colonies, but dammit, were going to play that part if it kills us!

Im sure there are all sorts of fascinating psychological reasons for it, but thank goodness its there, its kept me employed, its helped me put two kids through college, so I dont want to rock the boat!

Molina, 57, whos also starring in the new BBC Two comedy Roger And Val Have Just Got In with Dawn French, was approached about Sorcerer when he was on the set of another of Jerry Bruckheimers recent film, Prince Of Persia.

That was just a happy accident. We were half-way through Prince Of Persia and two of the producers who work with Jerry said, Would you be interested in this role? I wasnt first choice for the part, I think Javier Bardem was on the list at one point. But eventually the other actors probably turned it down and they gave it to me.

Molinas arrival on set was something of a baptism of fire, as he had to go straight to work on a scene fighting Cage for the mysterious Grimhold that contains Morgana.

I always have this notion that when you start work on a film, therell be a couple of nice easy days. Id barely had time to unpack and suddenly I had a magic cane in one hand and a sword in the other, going at it with Nic.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is released in cinemas on Wednesday August 11.


Director Jon Turteltaub says he wanted to make the magic in Sorcerers Apprentice very different from the Harry Potter films. The first thing we did was get rid of the magic wands, because Harry Potter owns magic wands and little Latin phrases to do your magic.

In a couple of scenes, Balthazar flies around New York on a giant metal eagle, a gargoyle on the side of the Chrysler Building which he magics to life. Turteltaub says: There was a lot more flying around on the eagle in the script but we were worried it might look stupid.

Turteltaub says that Cage is the boss on set, although they did disagree. Sometimes great art comes out of conflict, he says.

The director has ruled out turning the film into a franchise, saying it didnt do well enough at the US box office. Unless its as big a success as Jurassic Park in Europe and the rest of the word, it will probably never happen.


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