Nicolas Cage has signed on for the lead in Knowing– to be directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City, I, Robot). The pic will start shooting March 17 in Melbourne- and will be produced and distributed by Summit Entertainment.
Cage will be playing a teacher who, upon examining a time capsule unearthed at his son's school, discovers that the world is going to end within a week.
This project has been in development for years, at one point it looked like it might be Richard Kelly's follow-up to Donnie Darko. That didn't happen- and Proyas signed on over two years ago. With the writer's strike in full gear, and the upcoming Screen Actors Guild strike looming on the horizon, a lot of back burnered project are getting the greenlight- and this appears to be no exception.
I've always been a Proyas fan- The Crow is a classic, and Dark City was criminally overlooked when it came out. I, Robot was pretty awful, but from what I hear- Proyas got the boot from the editing suite, and the finished film did not really reflect the project he had originally wanted to make. He also made a charming little indie a few years ago called Garage Days– that pretty much went nowhere, despite being a fun little flick. I think he's a tremendously talented director, and he should bring something interesting to the table.
As for Cage- I think he's a talented actor, but he's appeared in some absolutely terrible movies over the last few years- like the ill fated Wicker Man remake & Ghost Rider. However- back in 2005 he made two great movies, The Weather Man & Lord of War– that, despite being box office disasters, reaffirmed my faith in his ability as an actor. Hopefully Knowing will be one of his better films.