Once upon a time, Nicolas Cage was a Hollywood hot shot worth around $150 million. Not only was he an Oscar winner, but his movies that he starred in, like National Treasure, were money making machines. But somewhere in Cage’s career, he took a few wrong financial turns and his career suffered as a result. He was spending money just as fast as he was earning it, with some reports saying he needed to earn $30 million a year just to maintain everything he bought.
And then the taxman came knocking. As it turns out, Nicolas Cage had been spending his earnings without paying his taxes first, which led to him owing the IRS more than $6.3 million in property taxes. Cage tried to sue his former business manager for fraud and failing to adequately handle his finances, but he really only has himself to blame.
To pay off his debts, he had to start to start liquidating some of his assets and just ten years later, after the IRS came knocking, Cage is only worth around $25,000,000 and he still has massive debt. This debt is the reason that Cage is taking roles in a number of terrible movies (that pay well) instead of proving to everyone that he is a genuine acting talent. But at this point, Nicolas Cage has become an Internet meme and it’s only a matter of time before he files for bankruptcy. In fact, several of his homes have already been foreclosed! So, what did the Internet’s National Treasure blow $150 million on?
15. Two Albino King Cobras
Of all the weird animal purchases Nic Cage has made, his albino king cobras were perhaps his favourite. He bought them back in 2005 and named them Moby and Sheba. According to Cage, he kept them in his Hollywood home and didn’t get their venom removed. In fact, for his own safety, Cage had to keep king cobra anti-venom in his house because the snakes are so poisonous that anyone bit by them only has as little has 30 minutes before the poison kills them.
In 2008, Cage mentioned that he had secretly owned his king cobras for three years while on The Late Show With David Letterman. Within days, his entire neighborhood was in an uproar about his pets. “My neighbors threatened to sue me unless I got rid of them. I could see their pint. I resolved the issue by giving the snakes to a zoo.”
14. $20 Million For Gulfstream Jet
The Gulfstream jet is often referred to as the best private jet money can buy. Though we’re not entirely sure how much Nicolas Cage spent on his plane, we do know that he had to pay a massive tax bill as a result of owning it. That said, we can assume the jet to have cost Cage more than $20,000,000.
In 2008, Nic Cage had to pay $666,000 to the IRS because he had improperly deducted some of his personal expenses, such as limos, meals, gifts, and trips on his jet between 2002 and 2004. It’s not uncommon for celebs to fly on private planes because it saves them the hassle of being swarmed by fans while on board and at the airport, which is why Cage tried to claim trips on the jet as a business expense. Originally, Cage planned to fight the tax man, but his lawyers eventually stated that he was going to bite the bullet and pay what he owed, plus an unspecific amount of interest.
13. $150,000 For The First Superman Comic
In 1997, Nicolas Cage bought an original copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $150,000. It is widely believed that Cage’s comic was the best preserved version of the iconic comic. The reason that the comic is so expensive is that Action Comics No. 1 is the first ever appearance of Superman, the most famous comic book hero of all time. But, just three years after buying it, Cage said that an unidentified man broke into his home and stole the comic. Eventually, the comic was recovered in 2011 and Cage sold it for a reported $2.1 million. Today, there are approximately 100 original copies of Action Comics No. 1 in existence.
Nicolas Cage’s interest in Superman doesn’t end with comic books. According to reports, Cage was set to star in a movie titled Superman Lives in the late ’90s. The film was abruptly cancelled before any footage saw the light of day, but there is one image that has circulated around the web of Cage wearing what would have been his Superman costume. If the image is a reflection of what Superman Lives would have been like — it probably would have sucked.
12. He Planned On Being Buried In A Pyramid In New Orleans
Despite having a love for the city, the city doesn’t have a lot of love for Nicolas Cage. It started when he bought the haunted LaLaurie Mansion as well as the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel. And then the city hated Nic Cage a little bit more when he bought a massive pyramid, placed it in a cemetery, and announced that his plan was to be buried in it like a modern day pharaoh.
The stone pyramid is an obnoxious 9-feet tall and many people are upset that the tomb is such a contrast to the crumbling tombstones around it. The pyramid doesn’t have Cage’s name on it (yet), but it has the words “Omni Ab Uno” which is Latin for “everything from one.” Many residents have speculated that Cage removed century-old burials in order to build his own pyramid in the crowded cemetery, but there’s no way for us to ever know!
11. $276,000 For A Stolen Dinosaur Skull
In 2007, Nicolas Cage bought the skull of a Tyrannosaurus bataar. Cage paid a reported $276,000 for the dinosaur skull, having outbid many other high-profile celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, in order to buy the ancient artifact. The skull is said to be around 96 million years old, which is an unfathomable amount of time to most people. Although Nic Cage bought this item pretty recklessly at an auction — you have to admit, it’s pretty cool.
But there was something a little wrong with the skull that Cage ended up buying. As it turns out, the dinosaur skull had been stolen from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. In 2014, the United States government contacted Cage to talk about the skull, and without much of a fight, Cage agreed to hand the skull back. It is unsure how or who stole the skull from Mongolia. Nonetheless, it was $276,000 that Nic Cage essentially wasted.
10. He Pretty Much Had His Own Zoo
There’s something about exotic pets that just attracts celebrities. Michael Jackson has his chimpanzee, Mike Tyson has his bengal tigers, and of course, Nicolas Cage bought an octopus. Cage bought the octopus for an estimated $150,000 and said that the cephalopod helped him with his acting. How? It’s hard to say, but maybe it gave him tips every morning before he went to work.
In addition to owning an octopus, Nicolas Cage owned a number of strange animals — both dead and alive. There are rumors that he owned a crocodile, and a number of exotic birds, which basically means that he had his own zoo. In an interview back in 2008, Nicolas Cage admitted that he also owned a collection of dead bats because he simply liked to collect things. It’s almost like he’s constantly trying to feed into the rumors that he’s a weirdo both on-screen and off.
9. He Has An Unhealthy Obsession With “Artwork”
Like anyone with money to blow, Nicolas Cage spent tens of millions of dollars on cultural pieces, such as art, jewelry, and even a meteor. He’s almost too obsessed with amassing things from around the world, when you think about it. According to court papers filed by Cage’s former business manager, the actor spent millions on 12 “expensive jewelry” items and on 47 “artwork and exotic items,” though the details of the items are unknown. However, Cage spent a reported $25,000 for part of a meteorite that landed in Nigeria in 1962. The meteorite has been authenticated by NASA as a rock from Mars and is estimated to be more than 3 million years old!
Fans of Nicolas Cage as a meme, not an actor, opened an art gallery back in 2014 dedicated to the actor. The gallery opened in Los Angeles, cost $20 to enter, and consisted of a number of Cage-inspired art which included Nicolas Cage as a Pokemon, Nicolas Cage as a shark, and Nicolas Cage as Elvis, just to name a few.
8. His Massive Vintage Car And Motorcycle Collection
Since Nicolas Cage is a collector of just about anything, it only makes sense that he would hoard as many cars and motorcycles that he saw fit. According to reports, Cage owned 30 motorcycles and many other cars in 2004. His former business manager said that Cage owned nine Rolls Royce cars and admitted that he had to beg Cage to sell a dozen cars just to not go broke. But that didn’t stop the inevitable from already happening, as you already know.
Surprisingly, Nicolas Cage didn’t actually buy the motorcycle from the Ghost Rider franchise. Additionally, when asked if he would be reprising his role as Johnny Blaze in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cage said that he was essentially done with the role.
7. $7 Million Decked-Out Island
Celebrities that like to throw money around have no qualms about buying an entire island for themselves. After all, the island gives them a level of privacy that they otherwise wouldn’t receive anyone else. Few paparazzi are going to follow celebrities out to open seas, and there is arguably nothing more impressive than saying you own your island. I’m not even entirely sure how you would go about buying an island, but rich people do. And that’s what separates us and them.
Nic Cage’s island is a sizeable 45 acres and is part of the Exuma Island Chain in the Bahamas. We’re not entirely sure how much Nicolas Cage bought the island for, or how much it cost him to maintain his private paradise, but when selling off his assets, he listed the property with an asking price of $7 million. There are some reports saying that Cage bought the (then) undeveloped island for $3 million in 2006 and spent years to turn it into the paradise that it is today.
6. $3.5 Million Mansion Formerly Owned By A Criminal
Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy woman in the 19th century that used the attic of her New Orleans mansion to torture and imprison her slaves. One of LaLaurie’s other slaves noticed that many slaves had gone missing, and eventually discovered the torture chamber and tried to burn it to the ground. Several slaves were found severely mutilated by what can only be described as torture machines, and it is estimated that she killed somewhere between 10 and 90 of her slaves. LaLaurie never faced any punishment for her crimes, and it is said that her soul haunts the mansion.
Despite the horrible history of the building, Cage was fascinated by it. “You know, other people have beachfront property; I have ghost front property — that’s what I always say. I have not experienced anything, but I like a bit of mystery, and the house has such a mystery to it. Some of the stories about it are pretty horrific.” Nicolas Cage bought the historic mansion for $3.5 million, but lost it to foreclosure in 2009 when his debts became overwhelming.
5. He Randomly Bought The Shah of Iran’s Lamborghini
Looking through Cage’s former car collection, you’ll notice that he seems to have a thing for Italian cars. He has a number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but the magnum opus of his collection was definitely the Lamborghini he bought that was formerly owned by the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown during the Iranian revolution in 1979.
The car is a 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ, which he purchased at an auction in 1997 immediately after the success of his movies Con Air and Face/Off. Cage, who thought his money would never run out, bought the car for $450,000. Just five years later, Cage sold the car — probably to help fund his newly formed car collecting addiction.
4. At One Point, He Owned 15 Different Residences
When it seems like you have all the money in the world, there’s no point in staying at hotels anymore. Nicolas Cage clearly thought that he would have money forever, which is why he bought 15 different houses and apartments to stay in around the wold. Most notably, Cage spent $25 million on a waterfront home in Newport, California, as well as a $15.7 million countryside estate in Newport, Rhode Island. He also bought a “humble” $8.5 million abode in Las Vegas.
Nicolas Cage bought some of his properties strictly as an investment, and sold for a profit, like his home in Newport California, which he pocketed $35 million for. However, Nicolas Cage had to liquidate his assets at the worst possible time. When the tax man came knocking, the United States was in that dreadful recession which killed the housing market. As a result, Nicolas Cage had to sell a lot of his properties at a loss! Poor guy.
3. He Bought An 11th Century Castle
Just a few years before Nicolas Cage was hunted down by the IRS, he stumbled across a German castle that he fell in love with the moment he saw it. The 28-room castle dates back to the 11th century, sits on a 395 acre property, and is located in a tiny German town. The castle was owned by the same aristocrat family for around 500 years, but needed massive renovations when Cage took his first look at it.
At the time, Nicolas Cage had no idea how to buy a castle, or how much castles actually cost. He contacted German real estate agent Sabine Gammel in 2006 to ask what the process was. In the past, Nicolas Cage lived in a fake castle near Los Angeles, and I guess it was time for him to find the real thing. The exact cost of the castle is unknown, but reports say that it cost around $2.3 million.
Cage expressed an interest to raise his children somewhere outside of the United States, and said that he settled on Germany because the ancestors on his mother’s side are from Bavaria, a region in the southeastern part of Germany.
2. His Beloved Motor Yacht “Sarita”
Is owning a yacht something rich people feel like they have to buy? They are an absolute money hole because not only do you have to buy the yacht, but you have to pay for fuel, meals, and pay a staff to work any time you want to set sail. Comedian Bill Burr said it best, you don’t want to be the guy who owns the yacht — you want to be friends with the guy who wants the yacht. That way, you get to have all the fun of sailing around on a yacht without having to pay through the nose for it.
Nicolas Cage has a particularly nice yacht. It’s a motor yacht built to comfortably hold 12 guests, and has an aft, sun, and an upper deck area. Nicolas Cage has been spotted using elliptical machines on his yacht as it sails around the Caribbean in the winter, and the Mediterranean in the summer. When the tax man came knocking, the yacht was one of the first things that Nicolas Cage sold! He mustn’t have liked it very much.
1. His Odd Collection Of Pygmy Shrunken Heads
Of all of the things that Nicolas Cage has spent his fortune on, the idea that he bought shrunken human skulls is what frightens me the most. Over the years, Nic Cage has proven that he’s somewhat of an odd guy, but for the most part, his primary interest has been to own things that he finds culturally or historically interesting. It’s uncertain how many shrunken heads Cage owns, but he’s admitted to having an interest in the strange.
Though many cultures have an obsession with collecting heads, head shrinking has only been recorded to happen in the Northwestern region of the Amazon rainforest. In the past, shrinking the head of your enemy was believed to capture the spirit of your enemy and force the spirit to serve you. When the popularity of shrunken heads surged, many people started killing others just to keep the supply flowing to tourists. Other people started counterfeiting heads, and it is estimated that 80 per cent of shrunken heads owned, or found in museums, are fake.
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