Nicolas Cage has leapt to the defence of one of The Wicker Man’s infamous scenes, which saw his character Edward Malus being tortured with bees, Digital Spy reports.
According to the report, this remake of the 1973 cult classic horror was met with the cold shoulder from cinemagoers back in 2006 – it scored 15% on Rotten Tomatoes – and failed to break even on its $40 million budget at the box office.
The bees scene, the outlet adds, however, captured the internet’s attention following the film’s release, with Malus’ screams of “No, not the bees! Not the bees!” becoming a popular meme.
The scene, which comes as the neo-pagan dwellers of Summerisle capture Malus and break both of his legs before pouring bees inside a wire mesh helmet Malus is wearing, originally aired in the unrated cut of The Wicker Man.
“I know people had fun with that even if they thought the comedy was not intentional,” Cage recently told IndieWire.
“I’m going on record right now: That is not a fact. Neil [LaBute, director] and I both knew how funny it was. It probably would’ve been more clear how funny it was if [producer] Avi Lerner let me have the handlebar moustache that I wanted to wear and be burned in the bear suit.
“That would’ve been so horrifying, but they didn’t go for that because all the comedy would’ve emerged from this horror. But Ari Aster did it brilliantly in Midsommar. That was terrifying, but they didn’t have the vision that Neil and I had for it.”