The Song Dynasty-era action film Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Nick Powell, has been given a new release date after being inexplicably pulled hours ahead of its initial premiere in September.
The film, financed and co-produced by China’s Yunnan Film Group, also features Hayden Christensen and Chinese actress Liu Yifei. Variety describes the epic as “a tale of two 12th century European crusaders who voyage to China, where they find redemption”.
Cage, who was named Best Global Actor at the Huading Awards in Macau last year, will play a ponytailed “Crusader-turned-bandit“. Apparently, producers are pretty confident with his sword-swinging performance because a sequel for the film is already in the talks.
US-Australian production company Arclight films, involved with international sales for the movie, never gave an explanation as to why screenings of the movie were suddenly canceled on the eve of its release. Christensen and other cast members had even arrived in China for its premiere.
Hollywood speculated that the movie’s gory battle scenes didn’t make it past Chinese censors, while some distribution sources said that YFG wasn’t happy with the inadequate number of screens available.
The English-language film is a Canada-France-China joint-venture. YFG reportedly provided half of the budget for the project.