Although he was one of the youngest performers ever to win a lead actor Academy Award, in recent years Nicolas Cage’s reputation has been more zany B-movie star than serious thespian. Add in his widely known financial woes and resume of Japanese pachinko commercial appearances, and the idea of Cage becoming the face of a Japanese snack food sub-brand wasn’t too far-fetched.
So when photos of the Nicolastick, puffed corn Umaibo sticks in special packages bearing Cage’s likeness, appeared earlier this month, plenty of people laughed, but few of them were genuinely shocked. But it turns out the development of the Nicolastick, a marketing move for the delayed Japanese release of Cage’s comedy "Army of One" (or "Bin Laden is My Prey," as it’s called in Japan), is something that was planned and pulled off without Cage’s knowledge.
FilmNation Entertainment, the U.S.-based company in charge of international licensing for "Army of One," has issued an apology for its edible endorsement end run, saying:
“Mr Cage had no prior knowledge that the product was being created, nor did he grant permission to use his likeness in this way…All parties responsible for the creation and announcement of this promotional product sincerely apologize for the use of Mr Cage’s image in this manner and any harm that may have been caused to him and his image and reputation.”
FilmNation also went on to reaffirm that the Nicolastick was only ever intended to be a promotional item for "Army of One’s" Japanese release, and was never planned for commercial release (as our previous article on the snack stated).
The Nicolasticks were originally intended to be given out with advance tickets to the movie, which go on sale Friday in Japan. FilmNation’s apology doesn’t explicitly say the promotion has been cancelled, but in light of the statement it seems unlikely that pre-purchasers are actually going to get their Cage-themed snacks. However, since the Nicolastick was supposed to begin distribution today, it’s almost a certainty that a large quantity has already been produced, and if anyone in the distribution chain managed to snag one, they’re now in possession of a very strange piece of movie memorabilia.
Source: The Wrap via Otakomu
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