Pig sees the Oscar-winning star of Leaving Las Vegas, Rumble Fish, Wild at Heart, The Rock and Con Air play a truffle-hunter living in the Oregon wilderness who returns to his hometown after his beloved pig is kidnapped.
The red carpet event will be staged at the Festival Theatre, the EIFF’s biggest venue for gala premieres, on 18 August.
The festival, which has returned to its traditional August slot in the calendar this year, has already announced that a new Billy Crystal comedy, Here Today, will bring the 2021 event to a close.
The Festival Theatre will also be hosting a special EIFF screening of a film adaptation of the hit stage musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, as well as an outdoor celebration event in St Andrew Square, which will be one of the festival’s main venues this year.
A programme of outdoor screenings is also being staged at Port Edgar Marina, in South Queensferry.
Cage has been praised by critics for one of his strongest ever cinematic performances in Pig, the directorial debut of co-writer Michael Sarnoski, who was nominated for an Oscar five years ago for his short film The Testimony.
He plays a former chef who became a truffle hunter following the death of his wife and lives in the wilderness with his foraging pig until it is stolen after he is attacked.
Speaking to Collider about the film, Cage said: “It was a screenplay that I thought was written with great sincerity. It had no other motivation other than to tell a quiet story of loss. It was very evocative.
"Michael was a director who wanted to tell a different kind of story. It was a meditation of sorts on loss. I was at a point in my own life where I thought ‘no acting, please.’
"I have close relationships with my animal brothers and sisters – my cats and dogs. I sometimes get bad dreams about losing my cat. We’ve all become very close to our animals after what we've been through with the pandemic and quarantine.
"I didn’t feel like it would be a huge challenge to play this role and that it would come out very easily because I thought I had the relationships and the life experience to tell this story. That’s what drew me to it.”
Sarnoski said: “We're so thrilled to be sharing PIG at Edinburgh International Film Festival.
"It was a labour of love for all involved, and we hope it gives the audience a moment of reflection and togetherness after such a hard year.”
Nick Varley, lead programmer at the festival, said: “Honouring the work of Nicolas Cage has become something of a tradition in Edinburgh and we are delighted to continue our long association with the premier of this most beautiful and thought provoking of films.
"From the moment the programming team viewed Pig we knew it was the film to open the 74th edition of the festival.”
The full line-up of this year’s film festival, which will run from 18-25 August, will be announced on 28 July.