Nicolas Cage Says Elon Musk Thwarted His Las Vegas Movie Studio Plans

"All the money I got for the movie studio, they put into the Tesla corporation."
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
screenshot/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Nicolas Cage just provided a peek into “The Unbearable Weight” of state funding.

The Oscar winner and Las Vegas resident revealed during “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” April 20 that he had plans to build a movie studio in Vegas. Cage previously starred in Vegas-set films “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Honeymoon in Vegas,” before moving to Nevada for the state tax breaks.

“There’s good mojo there for me,” Cage explained of the “small town and big city” feel of Vegas. But a silent electric car killed Cage’s film deal with the city.

“I tried to get a movie studio built there, and then Elon Musk came in,” Cage said, “and all the money I got for the movie studio – I got $80 million — they put it into the Tesla cooperation. Which then, ironically, drained all the water out of the city.”

Cage joked, “I almost had it.”

The “Con Air” star has been reflecting on his decades-spanning career, especially since being convinced by writer-director Tom Gormican to star as a fictionalized version of himself for “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” which premieres in theaters April 22.

Cage told IndieWire that he turned down the role three or four times before agreeing to play himself onscreen. “Then I got a letter from Tom, a smart letter, a well-written letter,” Cage explained. “He went on about some of the early work and his genuine enthusiasm as a cinephile of sorts, a film enthusiast with movies like ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ and ‘Face/Off.’ He was somebody that seemed to be coming from a genuine place in terms of the early work.”

However, the actor-producer did have one addition to the script that capitalized on his “memeification” “Wicker Man” moment: “I’m hopeful that these mashups like Cage Rage or ‘not the bees’ or whatever they’re having fun with inspires the millennial or the Z generations to go and look at the movies that got them there,” Cage continued. “I’m playing with their creation, this Frankenstein’s monster of internet meme culture. They built that, so why not have fun with it?”

The iconic actor concluded, “If I can get at least one or two scenes that linger in your imagination I’ve done my job. That’s why I’m able to find things in movies that perhaps to other actors might be considered not appropriate to one’s career trajectory. That doesn’t bother me, because I like to work.”

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