(Left) Nicolas Cage in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.' (Right) Bill Skarsgård in 'John Wick: Chapter 4.'

(Left) Nicolas Cage in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.' (Right) Bill Skarsgård in 'John Wick: Chapter 4.'

There was a time when Andrew Niccol –– as a writer, and then a director –– was king of the high concept. He broke through with the likes of genetic experimentation sci-fi drama ‘Gattaca’ and won acclaim for the script for ‘The Truman Show’.

He followed that with artificial intelligence romantic drama ‘S1m0ne’ and worked on Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’, starring Tom Hanks.

Then came ‘Lord of War’, in which Nicolas Cage starred as Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighborhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 1990s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son.

Then there’s his relationship through the years with his younger brother (Jared Leto), his marriage to a famous model (Bridget Moynahan), his relentless pursuit by a determined INTERPOL Agent (Ethan Hawke) and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does.

It was fun, and dark in places, but didn’t exactly set the box office alight, earning $72.6 million on a budget of $50 million.

Now, though, Niccol has not only convinced someone to make a sequel but has tempted Cage back to reprise his role as Yuri.

Lord of War

"Where there's a will, there's a weapon"
R2 hr 2 minSep 16th, 2005

Related Article: 'John Wick: Chapter 4' Interview: Bill Skarsgård

What’s the story of the sequel?

In the new film, known as ‘Lords of War’, Yuri discovers he has a son, Anton (Bill Skarsgård), who isn’t trying to right his father’s wrongs — he’s trying to top them. Not only selling guns but the “trigger pullers” too, Anton is amassing a mercenary army to fight America’s Middle East conflicts. This is the story of Yuri and Anton’s bitter rivalry — even at odds over the same woman. Who will prevail when father and son go to war?

We’re guessing this makes Anton distinct from the Yuri and Moynahan’s Ava had in the original.

Says Niccol of the new movie in a statement,

“ There is so much more to explore with these characters. Plato said it best –– ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war.’ I’m looking forward to spending more time in the company of the charming devil that is Yuri Orlov and now his illegitimate son –– who turns out to not be legitimate in any way.”

Neither Cage nor his director have had the best of luck in recent years in box office terms: Cage’s fortunes swing between straight-to-home-entertainment stuff, well-received comedy (‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’) and drama (‘Pig’), while his last movie, ‘Renfield,' flopped. Niccol, meanwhile, last made low key thriller ‘Anon’.

Vendôme Pictures is on board to produce the new movie, which has international distribution rights up for sale at the current Cannes market. Cameras should be rolling this fall.

Cage on boat

Nicolas Cage ("Nick Cage") contemplates his career while poolside in Mallorca, Spain in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.' Photo credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate.

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