Nicolas Cage was instrumental in ensuring his new film Willy’s Wonderland was full of his favourite animals.
That’s according to director Kevin Lewis and screenwriter G.O. Parsons, who together revealed in a new interview that the horror movie was shaped by the actor.
Cage portrays The Janitor in what Entertainment Weekly has described as “2021’s first cult movie”, which follows the restaurant cleaner battling a series of giant animatronic creatures while on shift.
The filmmaker and writer told EW that Cage was insistent on there being more reptiles and amphibians in the selection of demonic animatronics. “Nic is into reptiles, he is into amphibians, and he’s into dinosaurs. He was the one who was like, “Hey, make this thing an alligator, make this thing a chameleon. Let’s get a turtle instead of a regular mammal,” said Parsons.
The pair also revealed that Cage liked the no-dialogue premise of the film so much that he vetoed one being added at the end. “Nic loved that it had no dialogue,” said Lewis. “That was one of the draws for sure. In fact, in the original script, there was one piece of dialogue at the end. When he’s going to fight Willy, he says a line.
Parsons added: “When I originally wrote the script, I put in one line, which was ‘Come at me, bro.’ He and Willy are staring at each other, he goes, ‘Come at me, bro.'”
But Lewis said he was “really struggling with that”.
“You’ve got to make that an iconic line if he’s going to say one line in the movie. We would go back and forth with G.O. I always picture it something like what Bruce [Campbell] says in the Evil Dead: ‘Groovy!’ It’s got to be something. But what is it? Nic and I decided, no lines.”
Willy’s Wonderland was released on VOD over the weekend and is showing in US cinemas.