If heading out to the typical summer blockbusters (Iron Man 2, The A-Team, Toy Story 3 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is already a given and you’re looking for other movies to occupy your time, or if you’re looking for film to take the kids to, Disney is hoping that a live action adaptation of a portion of Fantasia will be just what the doctor ordered.
The decision to adapt the iconic moment (and THE image of Mickey Mouse in the minds of fans around the world) into a full-length, live action film has its roots in Cage’s fondness for the film (he watches it every year) and a quick, on-set conversation with a former producer.
“When I came up with this idea, I was on Next. I was talking with (producer) Todd Garner and I said, ‘Man, I really want to play a magician. I want to play a sorcerer.’ He came in the next day and said, ‘Nic, I got it. Let’s do Sorcerer’s Apprentice.’ Then I went to my partner at the time, Norm Golightly and we got a script out of it.
We all thought, ‘You know who would really put this on a fast track, who would give it all the panache and all the big entertainment style, nobody better than Jerry Bruckheimer.’ So we went to Jerry and being the good friend and great producer that he is, he read it and he said, ‘Hey, we’re doing it.’ We just got off of National Treasure 2 and that was a great experience. We thought the only man that could really do it and make this unique, bring the comedy into it and the humor into it and make it really connect with big audiences like kids and adults was Jon Turteltaub. That’s how it happened.”
When determining the look for his character, Balthazar, Cage (now sporting blonde hair for his latest film, Drive Angry, which is allowing him to “tap into his Celtic roots.”) admitted that he isn’t afraid to use hair and makeup to get the desired look. In fact, he looks forward to the process.
“Actors work with their look,” explains Cage. “I come from the Lon Chaney, Sr. school of acting, man. I want to transform myself every time I get. I’ll wear wigs, I’ll wear nose pieces, I’ll wear a green contact lens in my eye. I’ll do whatever I need to do to create a character. That’s what it’s about. That’s the fun of it. I wanted Balthazar to have a look like an ancient rock star, that kind of cool style that hearkens back to the 500s or the 600s, which is where he came from. Merlin was his teacher so I wanted him to have that look throughout.
When asked how thrilled he was to play a magician, Baruchel could barely contain his excitement. But, true to the image that he’s developed as a comedic actor, he made the role all his own.
It’s what I’ve been waiting to do my whole life,” says Baruchel. “I remember I read an interview with I think Robert Patrick who said all acting is play acting. It’s all cops and robbers. When I was a kid, if I wasn’t playing cops and robbers, I was playing superheros. I was always flying around and killing monsters and shooting energy out of my hands. So I’ve been waiting my whole life to get the chance to do this.
The role lends itself to what I love doing which is pratfalls and standing awkwardly and getting to shoot plasma out of my hands at the same time, so it’s just a marriage of my two passions. I tried my best to give my respect to that sequence and to what Mickey did but to do my own thing as well.”
So, just how faithful will this Sorcerer’s Apprentice follow the story of the original, especially the famous broom sequence? Cage wouldn’t reveal any details, but Baruchel mischievously admitted this time the scene will be with “Dustbusters and a Dyson vacuum.”
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice arrives in theaters July 16.