It looks like Nicolas Cage may be about to take on one of his craziest characters yet, with the actor in final talks to play a fictionalised version of himself in the meta drama The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which is set up at Lionsgate.
Scripted by Ghosted creators Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, with Gormican directing, the film is described as a cross between Adaptation, JCVD and Get Shorty, and will see Cage playing Nicolas Cage, who is desperately trying to get a role in a new Quentin Tarantino movie while dealing with a mountain of debt and a strained relationship with his teenage daughter.
Forced to make an appearance at the birthday party of a Mexican billionaire who happens to be a fan of his work, Cage discovers that the man is actually a ruthless drug cartel kingpin who has kidnapped the daughter of a Mexican presidential candidate. Recruited by the agency to gather intelligence, Cage’s situation gets even worse when the drug lord brings over Cage’s daughter and ex-wife to attempt a reconciliation.
According to THR, the script for Unbearable Talent was originally written as a sample script, but generated a tonne of interest, particularly when it became clear that Cage was open to taking on the lead role. He became attached in recent weeks, and due to the interest in the package – with the likes of HBO Max and Paramount also bidding against Lionsgate – it’s said that Cage will be pocketing a payday in line with his studio hits Con Air and National Treasure.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent will mark Cage’s first studio movie since 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, although his has kept himself busy with a string of indie films and low-budget titles released on a near-monthly basis. He was last seen in Primal [read our review here], while his upcoming slate includes the likes of the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Color Out of Space, the martial arts sci-fi Jiu Jitsu, truffle-hunting kidnap drama Pig, post-apocalyptic action horror Prisoners of the Ghostland, Southern Gothic thriller Grand Isle, and monster horror Wally’s Wonderland.