Nicolas Cage Turned Down 2 Major Franchises Because of His Son, Weston

In his film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, iconic actor Nicolas Cage portrayed himself. The role sees the star look back at his career — but he doesn’t actually have that much in common with the man in the movie. After all, the real Nicolas Cage turned down two popular film franchises for his son.

Nicolas Cage is a ‘family man’ to his sons

Nicolas Cage son
(L-R) Weston Cage and Nicolas Cage attend the UK premiere of ‘The Frozen Ground’ at The Vue Leicester Square on July 17, 2013 in London, England. | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

The actor will soon be a father to three children. Nicolas Cage married his current wife, Riko Shibata, in early 2021. In January, the couple announced they were expecting their first child together.

Cage also has a son with his third wife, Alice Kim. Kal-El — yes, named after Superman — was born in October 2005, a little more than a year after his parents wed. But Cage’s oldest child is his son, Weston Cage Coppola, with ex-girlfriend Christina Fulton. Cage and Weston’s mother dated for a couple of years before his birth in 1990 but never married. They broke up when he was around a year old. For Weston’s childhood, Fulton had full custody of him. The boy’s mother was afraid the Oscar-winning actor would negatively influence him.

Since Weston reached adulthood, he’s spent quite a bit of time with his father. He’s also given his father two grandsons. The two enjoy a close relationship now. And years ago, Cage has passed on two significant opportunities in his career to remain close to Weston.

Nicolas Cage could have played Aragorn and Neo

In a 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cage explained that he turned down roles in both The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix franchises because he didn’t want to be away from his son Weston in Los Angeles. He was offered the role of Aragorn in 2001’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, but it required he spend roughly three years in New Zealand for filming. Cage declined the role, which eventually went to Viggo Mortensen.

“I always put my family first, and I have turned down some enormous opportunities as a result of that,” Cage explained. At the time — around the turn of the century — he was in the midst of divorcing his first wife, Patricia Arquette. For The Matrix, which premiered in 1999, Keanu Reeves took the leading role of Neo, which Cage was also up for. 

An incredible career

As Nicolas Cage explained to THR, he has no regrets in his career — especially not turning down a lot of franchise money for his son. “A version of Nick Cage that doesn’t want to spend time with his kid doesn’t exist,” he said. 

Cage has had a strange relationship with the mainstream Hollywood machine. He explains there was a “mutual departure” between himself and the blockbuster industry years ago. Cage became a student of philosophy. And during that time, he stopped worrying about the glitz and glamour, deciding to “pursue a life of contemplation.”

This period coincided with Cage’s film roles in Sorcerer’s ApprenticeGhost Rider, and Drive Angry. None of the films were huge commercial successes. He admits he was more interested in meditation and philosophy.

But the phone never stopped ringing. Cage eventually returned to his interests in independent drama, like the critically acclaimed Pig. After 43 years in the industry, the actor points out his worldwide box office total is approaching “something like $6 billion.” Clearly, his family-first approach is working all around.

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