Cage missed the boat to Middle Earth.

It’s always interesting to look back at films and wonder what might have been had previous casting choices been put in place. Before Russell Crowe was asked to play General Maximus in Gladiator, Arnie got a mention. Before Henry Cavill became the Man of Steel, he originally went for the Dark Knight. Before Viggo Mortensen joined the Fellowship of the Ring, Nicolas Cage apparently got approached, so says the man himself.

Speaking to Newsweek recently, Oscar-winning actor and bee-hater Nicolas Cage revealed that he could’ve made a trip to Middle Earth way back when. Unfortunately, as with many cases of shoulda, woulda, coulda’s, it was all down to timing.

“There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years,” he told the site. “The thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.”

Does he regret his choices? The man who said ‘no’ to an Oscar-winning series of films and ‘yes’ to Ghost Rider? Well, of course not.

In some backwards universe where up is down, black is white and Viggo Mortensen starred in a remake of The Wicker Man, Cage might have brought a little something different to the role of Aragorn had he taken the chance. Would that ‘something’ go beyond being the only American in Middle Earth? We’ll never know. For now, let’s just settle for the trilogy we got and Mortensen being probably one of the best things in it. Thanks for the pass, Mr. Cage.

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