Image: courtesy of Stan

THERE MAY NOT be that many Nicolas Cage movies left. In an interview with Uproxx, the 60 year old actor said he plans to retire after “maybe three or four more movies” before making a pivot to TV and “some other way of expressing my acting”. So, Cage’s latest film, The Surfer, may be one of the last instances to see Hollywood’s favourite maniacal actor on the big screen. 

Considering Cage’s penchant for eclectic roles (we’ve famously seen him as a sorcerer, a treasure hunter, and a pyrotechnic stunt motorcyclist), playing an unnamed surfer set against the crystal clear beaches of Western Australia feels like a tick off every actor’s location bucket list. Because what actor doesn’t want to make a film in Australia? They can make a holiday out of it, too.

The film premiered last week at the Cannes film festival, where at a midnight screening, according to Vulture, the reception was “electric, with the crowd screaming and bellowing before the film had even begun.” If that’s telling of what to expect, The Surfer is Cage’s latest outlet to be his kookiest self for the camera. After all, at a film festival notorious for its, at times lengthy, standing ovations, The Surfer received a six-minute round of applause.

Scroll on for everything to know about The Surfer – including what about the film made the Cannes crowd go feral, and what to expect from a Nic Cage flick set in Australia.

What is The Surfer about?

Written by Irish screenwriter Thomas Martin, Cage plays an unnamed character, simply ‘the surfer’, who returns to his small coastal hometown after migrating to California as a teenager. A convenient backstory to explain the sans Australian accent from Cage, his outsider status is also cause for friction as the surfer is humiliated in front of his teenage son by a local gang of surfers who claim the beach of his childhood as their turf. 

Crestfallen, ‘the Surfer’ wages war on the gang, and as the antics escalate and the stakes spin wildly out of control, this takes him to the edge of his sanity. And throw the Australian sun into the mix, the film is designed as a bad-trip psychodrama with high-camp hallucinatory episodes for the protagonist. And if the film has to say anything about Australian culture, its nods to 70s Australian New Wave film explores the tribal rites of retro masculinity and male midlife crisis. Suffice to say, Cage has a lot to wring out here as a swansong for the theatrics he’s known for.

Is there a trailer?

Streaming platform Stan released a first look clip where we see Cage’s character having his first brush with the local gang of surfers.

Who is in The Surfer?

Though we won’t be hearing Cage in an Australian accent (take it as a dodged bullet, he is an American actor, after all), the film features an ensemble cast of great Australian talent. Here is the cast of The Surfer and the characters they will be playing.

  • Nicolas Cage as the Surfer
  • Julian McMahon as Scally
  • Nicholas Cassim as the Bum
  • Miranda Tapsell as the Photographer
  • Alexander Bertrand as Pitbull
  • Justin Rosnial as the Cop
  • Rachel Romahn as the Estate Agent
  • Finn Little as the Kid
  • Charlotte Maggi as Jenny

That’s a lot of unnamed characters, but it certainly adds to the film’s worldbuilding of small town folk existing as binaries.

Image: courtesy of Stan

Who directed The Surfer?

Cage isn’t the only non-Australian creative voice behind the film, as Irish filmmaker Lorcan Finnegan served as director. And this is perhaps the drawcard, with the eternal fascination with the land down under is ever present here: Finnegan shoots an Australia that is so saturated and sunburnt that it makes the mouth go dry.

Where was The Surfer filmed?

Always a treat to see the Australian landscape in Hollywood films, The Surfer was filmed in Yallingup, a coastal town in southern Western Australia known for top-notch waves.

When and where will The Surfer premiere?

There is no official release date as of yet. 

But when it does, the film will be available to stream on Stan in Australia.

Image: courtesy of Stan


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