Nicolas Cage cuts a darkly heroic figure in the first trailer for Prisoners of the Ghostland, which pits the Oscar winner and Hollywood icon against ghosts, samurai, and ninjas in an action thriller gonzo genre mash-up that truly must be seen to be believed. Due for release in theaters and on video on demand on September 17, 2021, by RLJE Films, fans of the Cage’s particular brand of antics are clearly for an absolute treat.
From the looks of the footage, which features Nicolas Cage once again nailing the tortured hero role and delightfully chewing any piece of scenery that decides to get in his way, the actor has scored the defining role of his career as Hero, a notorious criminal seeking atonement for his nefarious past.
Set in the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town (anyone else marveling at the movie’s shamelessly literal approach to names of people and places?) Prisoners of the Ghostland follows a ruthless bank robber named Hero, played by Nicolas Cage, who is sprung from jail by wealthy warlord The Governor, whose adopted granddaughter Bernice has gone missing. The Governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. To escape the nightmare world, Hero must break the evil curse controlling the mysterious Ghostland. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct within three days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman-and his own path to redemption.
Starring Sofia Boutella, Bill Moseley, Ed Skrein, Young Dais, and Tak Sakaguchi alongside Cage, Prisoners of the Ghostland is directed by Sion Sono from a script by Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai. Prisoners of Ghostland has all the ingredients for a pitch perfect B-movie experience, with each element combining to create an East-meets-West vortex of beauty and violence, with Cage trapped in the middle wearing a leather suit outfitted with bombs.
Cage himself has previously heaped praise on the script, describing it as “unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It might be the wildest movie I’ve ever made, and that’s saying something. It’s out there. I wear a skintight black leather jumpsuit with grenades attached to different body parts, and if I don’t rescue the governor’s daughter from this state line where they’re all ghosts and bring her back they’re gonna blow me up. It’s just crazy. It’s way out there.”
Director Sion Sono went on to echo these sentiments, revealing that he would be more than happy for Prisoners of the Ghostland to hold the title of craziest Nic Cage movie. “I’d rather leave that question up to the audience,” Sono said. “However, I know that Nicolas Cage has done a lot of great works and some of the works are crazy as well. If audiences think that this is the wildest movie that he’s ever made, the craziest movie that he’s ever made, then I would be really really happy to hear that.”
Prisoners of the Ghostland already beamed its unique beauty into the eyeballs of a lucky few at its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2021, and currently holds a promising 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is scheduled for release in theaters and on video on demand on September 17, 2021.