Cage, Schrader shoot thriller on the Gold Coast

07 March, 2014 by Don Groves

Director Paul Schrader and Nicolas Cage have spent a week shooting espionage thriller The Dying of the Light on the Gold Coast.

Cage plays Evan Lake, a veteran CIA agent facing early retirement due to the onset of an aggressive Alzheimer’s-related disease. He embarks on a manhunt while struggling to control his behaviour as the symptoms mount.


Anton Yelchin (Star Trek: Into Darkness) plays Lake's CIA protégé with Irène Jacob (Three Colours: Red, The French Kissers, The Secret Garden) as his ex-lover.

The principal location was the Royal Pines Resort, which substituted for a resort in Kenya. Earlier the cast and crew spent several weeks filming in Bucharest, Romania.

It’s the first film from Over Under Media, a US production company formed by Todd Williams, Scott Clayton and Gary Hirsch.

The producers initially intended to film the resort scenes in Thailand but decided to look for another location due to the unrest in that country. While he was in Romania Clayton, who had no experience of filming in Oz., contacted Brisbane-based Pam Collis and Paul O'Kane, who had recently produced the John Cusack film Drive Hard directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. So at very short notice Collis and O'Kane agreed to facilitate the Gold Coast shoot.

Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives), who was originally set to direct, is an executive producer together with Steve Schwartz (The Counselor, The Host, The Tree of Life).

Schrader, whose screenwriting credits include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ, said: "Having explored existential crises which occurred early in life, I thought it was time to examine similar crises which occur at the end of one's life."

The project was originally intended to star Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum, according to IndieWire. It’s the director’s follow-up to The Canyons, a micro-budgeted film starring Lindsay Lohan which was released simultaneously in cinemas and on VoD in the US.

It was the second collaboration between Schrader and Cage following the Martin Scorsese-directed Bringing Out the Dead, which Schrader wrote.