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William Friedkin To Direct Nicolas Cage In Thriller ‘I Am Wrath’

William Friedkin To Direct Nicolas Cage In Thriller 'I Am Wrath'

Update 10/01: Deadline confirms this is really, and truly, happening

These days, Nicolas Cage is virtually a genre unto himself. There’s a certain kind of film — “Trespass,” or “Justice,” or “Frozen Ground” or “Stolen,” that the actor seems to be more drawn to these days. Thrillers, normally involving some kind of ordinary man with threats to his wife and/or child, also starring a couple of other semi-bankable names who can attract foreign pre-sales alongside him (Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Guy Pearce), and utilizing a journeyman director like Roger Donaldson or Joel Schumacher. It’s a formula — one that presumably keeps the taxman at bay — but it means that it’s increasingly hard to get excited about a Nic Cage movie these days.

But on the back of the actor teaming up with David Gordon Green for Southern drama “Joe” last week, his latest announced film looks to have attracted an interesting name as well, as Deadline report that William Friedkin, the helmer of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” and who recently made something of a comeback with “Killer Joe” is in discussions to direct Cage in the thriller “I Am Wrath.” 

Produced by Emmett/Furla Productions, 50 Cent‘s Vision Films shingle (presumably the rapper will take a role in the film as well, as is his wont, unfortunately), and multiple other financiers, the film sees Cage play a man whose wife is murdered, and who sets out for vengeance against both the killers and a corrupt police department. Sure, it appears to have come from some kind of Random Nic Cage Plot Generator rather than a screenwriter (Paul Sloan is credited with the script), but the presence of Friedkin, should the deal close, would certainly make us more interested. Is this him returning to his director-for-hire ways on “Rules of Engagement” and “The Hunted?” Or could he come up with something more interesting and challenging? We suspect the former, but you never know: production starts in the new year, and Lionsgate will release the film in late 2013 or early 2014.

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