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Nic Cage and the Curios Case of the Non-Disparagement Agreement

Manuel here bringing you what’s surely the weirdest buzz surrounding an upcoming project you didn’t know existed.

Paul Schrader’s (or rather, not-Schrader’s) new film Dying of the Light, set to open this December, is currently embroiled in one of the oddest bits of director/producer spats we’ve seen in a while. While the pic got a new trailer this week, Schrader, along with co-stars Nicolas Cage and Anton Yelchin (as well as exec producer Nicolas Winding Refn) has begun a tacit non-disparaging disparaging campaign against the film itself. In Schrader’s own words:

We lost the battle. Dying of the Light, a film I wrote and directed, was taken away from me, redited, scored and mixed without my imput. Yesterday Grindstone (a division of Lionsgate) released the poster and the trailer. They are available on line. Here we are, Nick Cage, Anton Yelchin, Nic Refn and myself, wearing our “non-disparagement” T shirts. The non-disparagement clause in an artist’s contract gives the owners of the film the right to sue the artist should the owner deem anything the artist has said about the film to be “derogatory.” I have no comment on the film or others connected with the picture.

It’s not often these behind the scenes battles go so public, though in this day and age, where social media allows a greater sense of transparency (Schrader himself took to Facebook to share the pic below), you’d think we’d get these types of approaches more often. I, for one, would love to see Nicole Kidman wearing a Team Dahan tee, wouldn’t you?


I love the picture Schrader cobbled together because it’s so patently over-the-top between Yelchin’s power fist and Refn’s too-cool glasses/come-at-me pose combo. But rather than snarking on Cage, Schrader and co., I wanted us to imagine alternate plots for the above poster.

What movie is being sold to us in this revamped Dying of the Light poster? Is it a Hangover-style comedy where we follow the hijinks that lead this foursome to all wear the same tee? Is it an indie where estranged fathers and brothers come together for one last dinner?

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Reader Comments (5)

AY is a down and dirty street hustler nicknamed "Vlad the Impaler" (who never gets up before noon) who has been discovered by Über pimp Refn who sees $$$ in blackmailing middle aged married men (Cage) who like a bit of rough on the side which they can't get from their wives. Mega Porn Producer Chi Chi LaSchader also sees a future for our tender Siberian Minsk and wants a piece. It all ends with a gun battle in the Valley with only Cage riding off into the sunset, older still and not much wiser as he spots another down and dirty boy (Luke Evans in a uncredited cameo) on the way back to his Malibu home.

Direction by Bigelow, Costumes by Rolf and Rolf, cinematography by (what is the name of the big time DP who moonlights shooting gay porn?) and script by Michael Douglas.

Christmas release.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

You're right. I didn't know this existed. I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing now though. There is so much publicity for everything. Particularly when crazy actors are involved.

October 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

What? Nic Cage participates in a fight against the producer, supposedly for the quality of the movie's final cut, and it's not even Left Behind? or Outcast? or Stolen? or Seeking Justice? or Ghost Rider? or Trespass, or... okay, it aches my fingers to type out all the bad movies he was in.

But at least I can take comfort in knowing that he cares about the movies he's in, not just sleepwalking through them for the money.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Anton Yelchin's hair is a crime against nature and I won't stand for it.

Also, this whole other business is ridiculous.


October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I just saw Grace of Monaco and I want Nicole Kidman to wear a "I denounce Dahan" T-shirt.

October 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan

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