The Oscar-winner's online association with the franchise for several years now. Prior to last year's The Expendables 2 entering production, Cage was rumored to be among the all-stars joining the series in its first sequel. Those rumors only grew more persistent when Simon West, who directed Cage in both Con-Air and Stolen, signed on to helm that second installment.
Even though Cage didn't participate in The Expendables 2, his name continued to be linked to the franchise. Almost a year ago, on the cusp of the sequel's release, producer Avi Lerner strongly suggested that the star of Raising Arizona, Face Off, and The Rock was a lock to appear in The Expendables 3.
Lerner's confidence was echoed earlier this summer by Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, who announced to analysts that Cage, Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, and Milla Jovovich, were all in "advanced negotiations" to join the third installment.
Such certainty was evidently misplaced. In an exclusive interview with Nicolas Cage promoting next month's Frozen Ground, IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick inquired about the persistent rumors, to which Cage replied, in no uncertain terms, "No. I'm not going to be in that. I like all those guys but no, I won't be in that."
"I want to do something with Avi (Lerner) but I haven't found the right thing yet," he continued. "We've been talking about some ideas, one in particular, but I shouldn't mention it yet. I want to say it but its not definite."
So there you have it, straight from the man himself.
With Sylvester Stallone once again starring, co-writing, and generally acting as the architect of the series, The Expendables 3 finds Patrick Hughes, best known for the Australian western Red Hill, taking over as director.
While Cage is out, Chan, Snipes, and Jovovich are still apparently in the mix for the sequel. Jason Statham will, of course, reprise his role, along with fellow franchise veterans Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzengger, and Mickey Rourke, who returns after sitting out The Expendables 2. Mel Gibson is also expected to play the next movie's villain.
Cage, meanwhile, stars alongside John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, Dean Norris, 50 Cent, and Radha Mitchell in Frozen Ground. Check back for IAR's full exclusive interview with Nicolas Cage closer to the August 23rd theatrical release.