The story of how Nicolas Cage lost his rare comic book featuring the first appearance of Superman may finally be told. At least Hollywood’s version of it.
Lionsgate has picked up Action No. 1, a heist comedy from writers and Reno 911! creators Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. The duo also is producing along with Peter Principato and Paul Young.
The story revolves around a group of nerds who attempt to steal Cage's copy of Action Comics No. 1, the landmark 1938 comic that introduced the world to the Man of Steel.
The theft of Cage’s comic made real-world headlines in 2000. The issue was missing until 2011, when it was discovered among the contents of an abandoned storage locker. It sold for a record $2.1 million at auction in November. To comic-book fans, the story of the book’s theft and its ultimate recovery is as thrilling as any tale of a stolen Monet or Degas.
The part of Cage was written with the real Cage in mind, but at this stage, it's unlikely that Cage will play himself. Jason Statham's name has surfaced in connection with the project, but sources say he is not involved. (It was not known who Statham would play; the actor already played the leader of a heist in The Bank Job but has yet to tackle the role of a comics fanboy.)
Nerds breaking into fortresses or stealing prized objects is not a new subgenre. Fanboys, the 2009 road comedy directed by Kyle Newman, featured a trio of Star Wars superfans attempting to sneak into George Lucas’ ranch to see The Phantom Menace. Comic-Con, a spec script by Matthew Sullivan and Michael Diliberti that generated some buzz a few years ago, was about geeks executing a heist during the annual Comic-Con convention to save their favorite comic-book shop.
Cage, Statham, Lennon and Garant are repped by CAA. Lennon and Garant, whose feature credits include Night at the Museum and Balls of Fury, are additionally repped by Principato Young and Jackoway Tyerman.
E-mail: Borys.Kit@thr.com; Twitter: @Borys_Kit