This checks out.
Nicolas Cage is “in talks” to play himself in a new metadrama about Nicolas Cage. He would be the star, crucially, and the movie would pay homage to the likes of “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Face-Off” and “Gone in 60 Seconds,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film’s name is “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” like a Milan Kundera novel, only, cagier.
The script, written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, has a Cage-esque array of twists and turns. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the main character, Nicolas Cage, is at his wit’s end trying to land a role in the latest Tarantino flick, while attempting to patch things up with his teenage daughter and overcome mountains of debt. He’s constantly having internal conversations with a 90s movie star version of himself, who ridicules his flailing film career.
Things start to turn up when he meets a billionaire from Mexico, who’s a fan of his stuff and has some projects he wants to talk to Cage about. But, in a “National Treasure”-like twist, the CIA informs Cage that the billionaire is a drug kingpin, and they’d like Cage’s help trying to bust him.
When the billionaire brings his wife and daughter into the picture, well, that’s when Cage is up against the role of his life.
The Hollywood Reporter says that the movie will have “tones of Adaptation … Jean-Claude Van Damme’s meta-movie JCVD, and the John Travolta Hollywood caper ‘Get Shorty’, among others.”
Lionsgate fought HBO Max and Paramount to pick up the film, which doesn’t yet have a premiere date.
The script was developed without Cage’s knowledge, but Gormican sent it to him with a note pleading him to be in it. He wrote that the film was a “love letter to the actor, not something that made fun of him,” according to the Reporter. In the last couple of weeks, Cage came around to playing himself.
It helps, of course, that the pay would put him back in the green, comparable to the days when he was getting checks from studios for movies such as “National Treasure.”