Nicolas Cage plays unhinged cop in Bad Lieutenant

Fri Sep 4, 2009 7:42am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White and Cindy Martin

VENICE (Reuters) - Actor Nicolas Cage plays a deranged, drug-addicted detective in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," re-visiting the corrupt cop role made famous by Harvey Keitel 17 years ago.

Despite the similarity in title to Abel Ferrara's 1992 cult classic "Bad Lieutenant," and Ferrara's obvious displeasure at the idea of a remake, Cage and German director Werner Herzog say their movie is not connected.

"It would be unfair to compare the two movies," Cage told Reuters in an interview in Venice, where the picture is in competition at the annual film festival.

"Harvey's trajectory is really dealing with guilt and all of that, and perhaps fits more into that (Judeo-Christian) program, so to me it's a completely different story and a different cop," added the 45-year-old, who won a best actor Oscar for playing an alcoholic in "Leaving Las Vegas."

"This is a New Orleans cop, it takes place in New Orleans, it's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, it's not Bad Lieutenant."

Ferrara has criticized the idea of a remake, and was quoted in the media as saying: "I wish these people die in hell."

The fact that Ferrara is also due in Venice with another picture has only heightened media interest in the row, although Herzog said he had not seen the original.

"I have never seen this film," Herzog told Reuters. "I only know it has nothing to do with it, because the screenwriter explained to me the other film ... and we knew it was not in any way related."   Continued...

 
<p>Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes and movie director Werner Herzog pose for photographers during a photocall at the 66th Venice Film Festival September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>