Nicolas Cage prepared for his role in WORLD TRADE CENTER by sitting in a darkened box, listening to director Oliver Stone reciting passages from the TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD. The LEAVING LAS VEGAS Oscar winner played cop JOHN MCLOUGHLIN, who was trapped under rubble in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City. And Stone suggested he should use the box to help his eyes adjust to darkness, and listen to the Buddhist religious teachings to help him get closer to death. Stone says, "Nic went into a black box before filming to get his eyes used to darkness. "It was tough for him to come to work every day to play someone on the verge of death, so I read him the Tibetan Book Of The Dead."