In an urgent press release distributed late Thursday afternoon, theatrical distribution company Film Nation clarified erroneous reports that Nicolas Cage had been named an official spokesperson for a puffed corn stick manufactured by Japanese snack food Riska.
“Nicolas Cage is in no way engaged with an endorsement for the Japanese snack food brand Riska as recently reported in the news media,” the company wrote in a statement. “Mr. Cage had no prior knowledge that the product was being created, nor did he grant permission to use his likeness in this way. The items were created for the Japanese release of My Target, Bin Laden (released as Army of One in the US) and bore the artwork from the film. They were limited in number and purely intended to be promotional items that would be supplied to movie ticket holders in three theaters.”
Last week, bemused American news outlets — including Fox News —reported that Cage was an official ambassador for the snack brand, citing reports about the promotional giveaway. Cage’s smiling visage adorns the labels of specialty Umaibo sticks, which retail for about 10 yen, or nine cents; the image of his face is taken from a still image from the Army of One film, in which he stars as a character known as Gary Faulkner.
“All parties responsible for the creation and announcement of this promotional product sincerely apologize for the use of Mr. Cage’s image in this manner and any harm that may have been caused to him and his image and reputation.”
Cage does have a history of endorsing Japanese products; in 2005, he cut a series of very compelling commercials for the Sankyo line of pachinko casino machines.
Cage has also had a history of unconventional endorsers, including Satan, who vouched for his 2014 film Left Behind. The Prince of Darkness was one of the few who vouched for that movie, which scored a whopping 2 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.