By the Way

Is Nicholas Cage coming to the Coast?


Nicholas Cage is expected on the Coast in May to film a movie with Randall Emmett.
Nicholas Cage is expected on the Coast in May to film a movie with Randall Emmett. AP Photo

The conversation possibilities are endless.

“Hey y’all. Guess what? I saw Nicholas Cage at Wal-Mart buying socks and underwear.”

Well, that one may never happen, but Cage is expected to begin working on a film that will be shot in South Mississippi in May.

Cage has appeared in dozens of films. Some of my favorites are “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” “Valley Girl, “Moonstruck,” “Con Air” and “Raising Arizona.”

In 1996, he won an Academy Award for his role in “Leaving Las Vegas.”

Details about the Cage/Coast project are scarce but producer Randall Emmett has been in the area doing some pre-production work. He’s attended a Biloxi Shuckers game and he has met with Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes and some of his staff.

Emmett produced “Precious Cargo,” which was shot in Gulfport and Biloxi last summer. It was released in theaters and on pay per view platforms last week.

According to IMDB, Emmett has several films in the pre-production phase. But one Emmett production is called “Philly Fury” and it has Cage listed as the primary star. It is scheduled to shoot in 2016 and see a release date in 2017.

The film’s synopsis is brief -- “A Philadelphia mobster attempts to rescue his kidnapped brother.”

Emmett and Cage have worked together before, most recently on 2013’s “The Frozen Ground,” which also starred John Cusack.”

The two also collaborated 2009’s “Bad Lieutenant” Port of Call New Orleans,” a continuation of Harvey Keitel’s “Bad Lieutenant.”

But what’s the most interesting about “Port of Call” is that is was filmed in New Orleans, where Cage was living. At one point, Cage owned a mansion in the French Quarter on the corner of Chartres and Esplanade. It was formerly known as Kingsway Studios when it was owned by producer extraordinaire, Daniel Lanois. His production credits include U2’s “The Joshua Tree.” Yeah. That guy.

Numerous albums were recorded at Kingsways including Bob Dylan’s “Oh Mercy,” the Neville Brothers’ “Yellow Moon,” as well as records by Pearl Jam and REM. I worked for Blind Melon while they recorded “Soup” at Kingsway, but that’s another story for another time.

So yes, Nic Cage definitely has a relationship with the Gulf Coast.

And so does Emmett. His production of “Precious Cargo” features a song on the soundtrack written and performed by Hewes. And although the film was not released in theaters in South Mississippi, a special free screening of “Precious Cargo” will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Saenger Theater in Biloxi. The details are still being worked out.

Jeff Clark is a staff writer for the Sun Herald.