Nicolas Cage has cancelled attendance at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, North America’s biggest genre festival, where he was expected next weekend on July 22 for the world premiere of director Yuval Adler’s “Sympathy for the Devil,” where he was due to pick up Fantasia’s Cheval Noir career achievement award.
“We’re sad to announce that due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Nicolas Cage will no longer be able to attend the festival next weekend,” Fantasia has announced on its website.
“We’ll be updating our website regularly as we receive news from other announced guests while circumstances evolve. Our hearts are with the actors, as well as with the WGA, and we hope to see the unions get a fair deal soon,” the Festival added.
Following Thursday’s confirmation of the SAG strike, Judy Greer, star of “Aporia,” one of Fantasia’s other high profile premieres, did not appear to be available for interview by Variety. Greer is not on Fantasia’s guest list. In “Aporia,” she stars as a woman drowning in grief from the death of her husband in a drink-driving accident. “Aporia” is scheduled to world premiere at Fantasia on July 27.
The vast majority of actors on Fantasia’s guest list are Canadian. One question is whether foreign or non-SAG-AFTRA members will pull out from attending Fantasia out of support for SAG-AFTRA.
Fantasia is not, however, heavily star dependent. Cage’s cancellation will be a large disappointment for fandom at the Festival. But it’s no kind of knock out blow.
Most stars at Fantasia are its genre auteurs, such as this year cult Canadian collective RKSS which closes the festival with “We Are Zombies,” starring Megan Peta Hill, Alexandre Nachi and Derek Johns.
Fantasia Film Festival runs July 20 to Aug. 9. A large Frontières industry forum, packed out by the presentation of projects – led by their directors and producers with little cast attached – unspools July 26-29.