'He Can Die in Hell': Werner Herzog vs. Abel Ferrara Moves to Round 3We swear we didn't mean to throw a bucket of gas on the smoldering crash site where Werner Herzog collided a while back with Abel Ferrara, leaving the legendary auteurs fighting for their lives over Herzog's plans to remake Ferraras's 1992 masterpiece Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage. But thanks in part to our revealing audience with Herzog last summer, the fire is back to uncontained levels today as Ferrara picks off his Bavarian contemporary one vicious shot at a time in Filmmaker Magazine:
He can die in hell. I hate these people – they suck. A, he don't know me, couldn't pick me out of a line-up. B, I'm chasing windmills. Well, I'd rather chase windmills than steal other people's ideas. It's lame. I can't believe Nic Cage is trying to play that part. I mean, if the kid needed the money... It's like Harvey Keitel said, “If the guy needed the money, if he came to us and said, 'My career's on the rocks,' I'd cut him a break.” But to take $2 million – I mean, our film didn't cost half of $2 million. That film was made on blood and guts, man. So I really wish it didn't upset me as much as it does. [...] Nobody asked us to do it. Nobody approached us and said, “Would you do it?” Give us $8 million, we'll come up with something. They give me twenty grand and say, “Go fuck yourself.” Gimme a break! They aren't paying Harvey anything, they aren't paying him two cents. [Producer] Ed Pressman sucks cock in hell, period. You can print that.
Done and done. And though we're not too sure about Cage "needing the money" (Bangkok Dangerous notwithstanding), expect Herzog to answer to the charges some time later this week, carefully enunciating his surprise at Ferrara's bitterness and echoing that existential baffler that so plagues his younger, Shatner-defying peers: "How did this become my life?" Our guess: It's a furious Klaus Kinski lashing out against his complacency from the great beyond. Just a theory.