You may have recently seen the trailer for Nicolas Cage’s newest movie, Dying of the Light—in which he plays a CIA officer diagnosed with dementia on the hunt for the nemesis he believes is still alive—and thought to yourself, “This looks weird and pretty terrible. I will be skipping this one.” But it appears that Cage won’t blame you if you do—as far as we can tell, he’s encouraging you to do so.
As Deadline reports, Cage, co-star Anton Yelchin, credited writer-director Paul Schrader (scribe of Taxi Driver, among other cinematic accomplishments), and executive producer Nicolas Winding Refn appear to be protesting the action thriller due to some behind-the-scenes battles with Lionsgate Studios. Schrader says he was forced off of the film when producers kept him out of the editing room. The producers assert that Schrader quit after turning in a cut that didn’t align with his script. Said producer Gary Hirsch to Variety:
“We made suggestions, which Paul to a large extent didn’t approve of, and so he refused to make the changes that we all wanted, despite the fact that the changes we were looking for were very much in line with the script that he wrote and shot.”
With the trailer out this week, Schrader took to Facebook and posted a photo of himself and his fellow protesters wearing T-shirts adorned with a “non-disparagement” clause from what is presumably his contract for the movie. That clause “gives the owners of the film the right to sue” an artist under contract who speaks ill of the film. It reads: “No publicity issued by artist or lender, whether personal publicity or otherwise, shall contain derogatory mention of company, the picture, or the services of artist or others connected with the picture.”
As the Playlist notes, Schrader has previously had creative battles over last year’s The Canyons and an Exorcist prequel (on the latter, he was replaced by director Renny Harlin). Dying of the Light opens Dec. 5.