Things didn’t turn out especially well last time Paul Schrader and Nicolas Cage worked together. The writer/director and actor both disavowed “Dying of the Light” after studio interference turned it into something neither of them wanted to be associated with, the result being a film that few saw and no one claimed as their own. Out of Cannes comes the news that their next collaboration, “Dog Eat Dog,” seems likely to fare better: Schrader got final cut this time around. The film closes the Directors’ Fortnight section of the festival next week, with a new clip and several images now available in the meantime.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, which cuts off early, introduces Cage and co-star Willem Dafoe’s characters in the lead-up to a kidnapping that, if a century’s worth of movies are any indication, probably doesn’t go down as planned. The photos are a mix of color and black-and-white, indicating that “Dog Eat Dog” will be as well.
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For the first time in his career, Schrader will step in front of the camera as real-life mob boss Grecco the Greek — not that he planned to. The filmmaker told Deadline, who has a brief video of one of his scenes, that “over pre-production, I approached Michael Douglas, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Nick Nolte, Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Winncot and Rupert Everett to play the Greek as a transgender Cleveland gangster. For one reason or another, none of them worked. I was the only actor we could afford. ‘I may not be good,’ I thought, ‘but at least I’ll be interesting.'”
He and Cage first worked together on Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead,” which Schrader wrote. “Dog Eat Dog” is based on Edward Bunker’s novel of the same name.