Wonder Woman 1984’s Maxwell Lord is inspired in part by Nicolas Cage

Pedro Pascal, who plays infomercial king Maxwell Lord in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, says his performance was inspired by Nicolas Cage.

Pedro Pascal has revealed that Nicolas Cage partly inspired his performance Wonder Woman 1984. The upcoming sequel to 2017 Wonder Woman fast forward 66 years after the first film, where she catches up with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) while working at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, with Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristen Wiig). Those are some of the only concrete details released so far; There are still a lot of unknowns, like how Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) comes back from the dead, how Barbara turns into the villain Cheetah, and what exactly Maxwell Lord (Pascal), a charismatic sloppy business tycoon and media personality, is on.

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Lord hasn’t received much screen time in any of the many Wonder Woman 1984 trailers, so his character is still a bit of a mystery. In the comics, Lord is primarily an antagonist of the Justice League; he tries to use his wealth and power to control them and when that fails, he tries to pit them against each other. He eventually develops telepathic mind control powers and Wonder Woman kills him on live television. In Wonder Woman 1984Known as the king of the infomercials, Lord promises to give people whatever they want. Director Patty Jenkins’ version of Lord is a cross between Gordon Gekko, the fictional unscrupulous villain from 1987 Wall Street who notoriously proclaims “greed is good,” and Tony Robbins, the all-too-genuine motivational speaker and self-help guru who started his infomercial products and programs in the late 1980s.

Related: Who Is Maxwell Lord? Pedro Pascal’s Wonder Woman 1984 Villain explained

Screenwriters David Callaham, Geoff Johns and Jenkins may have drawn inspiration from Gekko and Robbins while writing and crafting Lord’s character, but Pascal channeled another figure to bring Lord to life: Nicolas Cage. Pascal told it Weekly entertainment Cage inspired his performance in one specific scene by adding: “With Wonder Woman, [Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig] do the action, baby, and I’ll do the schm acting! I’m hammering it!

Pascal didn’t mention what’s happening in the Cage-inspired scene, or whether he was pursuing a specific role for Cage or going for a more general pastiche of his over-the-top performances. Lord’s narcissism and pursuit of wealth, however, are reminiscent of one of Cage’s early roles: Peter Loew in 1989’s Vampire’s Kiss. In one of Cage’s most unhinged performances, he embodies a literary agent with a tough, playful demeanor who slowly loses his mind, making him think he’s turning into a vampire. This leads to some of Cage’s best overacting as he spews out vitriol more sacred than you which often doesn’t make sense. Granted, the whole section of the mentally ill vampire is quite a distance from Lord, but the overabundance and self-righteousness of a certain kind of career-driven man who could only have existed in the 1980s is the same.

Pascal who speaks openly about his influences is smart; instead of comparing Cage’s work, he has invited fans to see his performance as a loving tribute. Initial reactions to the film were extremely positive, with a few words of praise for Pascal in particular. And if Pascal hammers it as much as he claims Wonder Woman 1984, it will be fun to watch his performance regardless of influences.

Following: Wonder Woman 1984 Theory: Maxwell Lord’s Villain Plan

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Main release dates

  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)Release date: December 25, 2020
  • The Suicide Squad (2021)Release date: August 6, 2021
  • The Batman (2022)Release date: March 4, 2022
  • DC Super Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
  • The Flash (2022)Release date: November 4, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022)Release date: December 16, 2022
  • Shazam 2 (2023)Release date: June 2, 2023

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