It’s AFM time in Hollywood and in recent years that has meant high commerce for forgettable Nicolas Cage screen vehicles; it has been a long time and a lot of bad choices since his Oscar-winning turn in Leaving Las Vegas and blockbusters Con Air and The Rock. Is it possible any of this has to do with his directors and distributors not being protective enough of Cage’s performances and the way his movies are sold?

So it’s intriguing that Taxi Driver scribe Paul Schrader is determined to do his part to make sure that he and Cage get a better outcome than on their last film together, Dying Of The Light. Schrader has been outspoken about how that film, which he wrote and directed, was taken away from him before being released by the Lionsgate division Grindstone. It was re-edited, scored and mixed without the filmmaker’s input. The result: another disappointing VOD entry.

schraderSchrader is in Cleveland shooting an adaptation of the Eddie Bunker novel Dog Eat Dog with Cage and Willem Dafoe. This time he’s got more control and is determined to use them to bring about a better outcome. Today on his Facebook page, Schrader introduced a one-sheet he hopes will set the tone for an important movie, and raises expectations above the Cage VOD ad art ghetto.

Wrote Schrader: “Arclight and I comped this artwork for Dog Eat Dog. It is based on the British paperback. We’re doing something bold here in Cleveland and I wanted to get away from the generic Nic Cage artwork of the past several years. I got burned last time. This time I’ve got final cut.”

The pic is a gritty contemporary crime thriller about a trio of ex-cons hired for a kidnapping. When the abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs.