Nicolas Cage Thinks James Franco Stole ‘Spring Breakers’ Character from His ‘Green Hornet’ Pitch

Seth Rogen said Cage asked him if he'd told Franco about his idea for playing the "Green Hornet" villain as a "white Bahamian."
Spring Breakers
"Spring Breakers"
Annapurna Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

A new interview with Seth Rogen in GQ Magazine reveals a lot of things. For one, the actor clears up that rumor about Emma Watson storming off the set of “This Is the End,” saying that there were no hard feelings involved. For another, Rogen also said that Nicolas Cage thinks that James Franco might’ve stolen his idea to play his cornrowed “Spring Breakers” character like a “white Bahamian” from Cage’s own pitch about playing “The Green Hornet” villain as such. (Cage’s wish to play the character as a “white Jamaican” has been well known.)

Here’s the breakdown, courtesy of GQ: Apparently, Seth Rogen and his longtime creative collaborator and “Green Hornet” screenwriter Evan Goldberg “spoke to Nicolas Cage about him possibly playing the Russian crime boss villain in ‘The Green Hornet,’ only for Cage to inform them he wanted to play him as a bald man, with hair tattooed on, large prosthetic lips and a voice like Edward G Robinson. They later met Cage in person and he informed them that, actually, he wanted to play him as a ‘white Bahamian,’ with a thick Caribbean accent, and proceeded to act out a scene in which he would be dumping pigs’ blood on Rogen’s ‘Green Hornet’ in a ‘creepy voodoo ritual.'”

The story continues, “He didn’t get the part but did request a meeting more recently during which Cage asked Rogen if he’d told James Franco about his idea, as he suspected Franco had nicked the character for ‘Spring Breakers.'”

Whether or not that’s true, Franco’s character, named Alien, in “Spring Breakers” very much fits that description of a “white Bahamian” as pitched by Nicolas Cage.

Rogen carried on, “The second part actually just happened before the pandemic. I mean, he already doesn’t like me, is the point. So he’ll continue not to like me!”

The villain role in Michel Gondry’s 2011 “The Green Hornet” ended up going to Christoph Waltz, who took the character in a decidedly different direction. The movie ended up being a box office bomb but has acquired cult status in some circles.

Head over to GQ to read the full interview with Seth Rogen.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.