Nicolas Cage’s New Western Movie Was Filmed in Japan: Here’s Why

by Keeli Parkey
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The new Nicolas Cage film, “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” is about to hit streaming services. In fact, the debut is just days away as it is scheduled to be available through video-on-demand services on Friday, Sept. 17.

The film is a new Western. Surprisingly, it is the first Western the 57-year-old Cage has filmed during his famous decades-long Hollywood career. Because “Prisoners of the Ghostland” is a Western one wouldn’t be blamed for expecting that it was filmed in the American West. There isn’t a shortage of gorgeous locales out there, after all.

However, this Nicolas Cage film wasn’t shot in the American West. Instead, it was filmed in Japan. The “Face/Off” and “Con-Air” star shared details about why this happened during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Turns out, the shoot was moved to Japan for a very good reason. The filming location was moved. According to what Cage shared, that happened in order to protect the health of the films’ director, Sion Sono. Sono suffered a heart attack just before the filming of “Prisoners of the Ghostland” was about to begin. It was reportedly Cage who suggested that the film be shot in Japan.

“Sono-san’s first meeting with me, we were going to shoot it in the Mexican desert. He very much wanted that look. We all know about his health scare, so I’m not talking out of turn, but he went through something, man,” Nicolas Cage explained.

Nicolas Cage Said He Wanted to ‘Make a Movie in Japan’

The director’s “health scare” is something Nicolas Cage said he hopes that he never has to experience in his own life. “I hope I never go through anything like that. He literally saw himself leaving the operating table and he started to approach the Milky Way and they were bringing him back into his body,” Cage also said.

Making the “Prisoners of the Ghostland” in Japan also gave Nicolas Cage the opportunity to film a movie in a location he has admired for a very long time. “I said to him, ‘Let’s not take any unnecessary risks. I want to make a movie in Japan, I’m a fan of Japanese cinema, this is one of my dreams. … want to go to Japan, and let’s do the movie at home, okay?'”

Director Sion Sono and Cage share a friendship. This friendship also led Cage to request that the “Prisoners of the Ghostland” be filmed in Japan.

“Because he’s not only a great visionary, he’s also my friend. You know, when I’m in Tokyo he invites Riko (Cage’s wife) and I over to the house. He’s a nice man, and I genuinely care about him,” Nicolas Cage also shared. “The movie got delayed a year because of that scare. I said, ‘Just stay at home with your doctor and let’s make the movie.’ And he said, ‘Okay.'”

Outsider.com