By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 10, 2002 01:00 PM

Nicolas Cage, Christian Slater, LL Cool J and “ER” star Michael Michele all blew into New York late last week for the Manhattan premiere of the war movie “Windtalkers,” which opens nationally June 14, reports PEOPLE. Cage, 38, who stars in the movie, arrived clad in a black leather jacket and pants that matched his freshly dyed black hair, making him look a lot like his ex-girlfriend Lisa Marie Presley’s daddy, Elvis. Cage said he’s excited about his directorial debut, the movie “Sonny,” a drama about a gigolo trying to make a career change, which he recently wrapped. “When I first started out it was a little nerve-racking, like going to the first day of school,” he said of working behind the lens. “Then I got into a rhythm with it and with my cast. What’s different about directing versus acting is that I’m looking at it from a different perspective. I’m looking at it from the female perspective as well as the male perspective.” As for the perspective of “Windtalkers” director John Woo — who did 1997’s “Face/Off” with Cage and John Travolta — the filmmaker told PEOPLE that he admits some viewers may find the movie, which is based on actual events surrounding a sergeant’s mission to protect a Navajo code talker during World War II, extremely violent. “I thought it was necessary,” said Woo, 56. “I just wanted to show them the horror of war and the danger, the chaos, the dramatic action of the moment. I also wanted to send a little anti-war message. War is no good for anyone.”