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The Arsenal Trailer and The Glorious History of Nicolas Cage’s Hair

A wig-filled trailer inducts Arsenal into an illustrious, and greasy canon.
Arsenal Nicolas Cage Hair
By  · Published on December 16th, 2016

Christmas has come early, for yesterday we were blessed with a truly majestic Nicolas Cage haircut.

This gift came in the form of a bonkers trailer for Steven C. Miller’s Arsenal, a southern thriller starring John Cusack (High Fidelity), Adrian Grenier (Entourage), Johnathon Schaech (Prom Night) and the aforementioned national treasure himself.

Do not be led astray by the racket of brothers risking everything for one another, or by a vaping, do-rag wearing John Cusack. For drowning out these lesser fixtures is a radiant beacon of light: a prosthetic nose-toting, mustachioed crime lord played by Cage and his phenomenal wig.


But this is not just a glorious Cage hair moment – rather, it is a callback to one of the GREAT Cage hair moments. After some prodding from the heroes at ScreenCrush, Miller disclosed that Arsenal is an homage/definitely-not-a-sequel-except-it-will-be-in-our-hearts to Deadfall (1993).
me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016
Direct sequel or not, it is clear that Cage’s iconic hairstyles have begun to cannibalise themselves. But perhaps this emerging meta narrative (meta hair-rative) is simply the next logical step of Cage’s nouveau shamanic acting methodology. Who’s to say.

To welcome Arsenal’s magnificent addition to the Hair Club, and to celebrate the eternal return of the same, here is an incomplete visual history of Nicholas Cage’s hair:

Rumble Fish (1983)

as Smokey
I’ll be damned if Steve and Jean-Ralphio don’t share a style icon. And like, fair enough; that’s some commanding structural integrity right there.

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

as Charlie Bodell
I know the rockabilly pompadour is distracting but please take note of Cage’s shirt because it is dorky and I want it.

Raising Arizona (1987)

as H.I. McDunnough
The natural result of escalation is deflation: the coif has fallen. Perhaps Cage’s hair here represents his character’s lateral movement from ex-con to kidnapper…or being a stressed out pseudo-parent to a newborn.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

as Peter Leow
Cage’s bowl cut is about as stable as his character— who Vice Principals writer Hayes Davenport recently pointed out sounds eerily similar to Derek Zoolander (though I suppose it’s vice versa – which is weirder, somehow?). Perhaps this stringy, deflated bob will double back and become high fashion. Anything is possible if you believe.

Kiss of Death (1995)

as Enrico Silvestri
Convince me that that goatee isn’t a sticker that they smacked onto Cage’s face. Also for the love of god spend at least thirty seconds contemplating the pre-cut hole in the side of Cage’s tank top. What is it for? Breathability? To free up a location for another goatee sticker? We’ll never know!

Con Air (1997)

as Cameron Poe
If Cage is trying to look Byronic here then damn it if isn’t working. It’s definitely as slimy as Romanticism – the analogy sticks! Does it still qualify as a mullet at this point? What are the ontological properties of a mullet? Shout your answers into the night’s sky! Byron would have wanted it that way – Cage too, probably.

Adaptation (2002)

as Charlie & Donald Kaufman
I bet you could use Cage’s wiry moss hair to scrub tough grease off a cast iron skillet. He gets bonus points for consistent forehead sweat.

The Weather Man (2005)

as David Spritz
There’s something about Cage’s forehead being covered by bangs that makes me deeply uncomfortable.

Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

as Joe
Ahh that’s better.

Drive Angry (2011)

as Milton
The bleached-blond surfer vibes might seem like an odd fit for a movie about punching a satanic cult leader in the face, but remember, this here’s Cage country! Also kudos to the production for recycling the goatee residue from Kiss of Death — very resourceful.

Outcast (2014)

as Gallain
I did not doctor this picture. This is an American-Chinese-Canadian action film where, I can only assume, Cage’s hair is the protagonist.

P.S. Harry Hanrahan’s work in Cage scholarship is unprecedented, and the supercut linked below is a classic.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).