Nicolas Cage Reveals How He Was Convinced To Play Himself In The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Nicholas Cage as himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

After a number of years away from being in the front of high-profile movies in favor of voice roles and independent films, Nicholas Cage is headed back to the big screen in a big way next month to play himself. The actor will embody an exaggerated version of the legend that is Nic Cage for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. As it turns out, it was not an easy sell. 

The movie follows a fictionalized version of Nic Cage who is strapped for cash and on the verge of quitting the business. But when he gets invited to a superfan’s birthday for $1 million, played by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal, he jumps at the opportunity. Cage recently shared what got him on board for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

I wanted no part of it. But when I got Tom’s letter, then I thought, 'OK, he’s not just trying to mock so-called Nick Cage; there is a real interest in some of the earlier work.’ His tone was more of a celebration of some of [the actor’s iconic on screen] moments — like being at the bottom of the pool in Leaving Las Vegas or [using] the gold guns in Face/Off.

Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten wrote the script for The Unbearable Weight and sent the actor a letter about the concept and why they wanted to pay homage to the actor with the movie rather than make fun of him. As Cage told The Hollywood Reporter, when he read the script he could see the real “interest” in his career. The actor continued: 

What really put the hook in me was a sequence that is no longer in the movie. It was a sequence where the Nick Cage character goes into a series of vignettes that are all stylized in the German expressionism of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. So there was a sequence in black and white that was a Gone in 60 Seconds race in a Mustang, there was the Leaving Las Vegas character in a hotel room. It was fun to make and cool to look at. Ultimately, the studio decided it was too far out for audiences.

Wait, what? Nicolas Cage shared that one cool moment in the script that hooked him was actually cut from the film. It sounds really artsy, especially for big fans of the actor, but according to Cage, Lionsgate thought the scene was “too far out” for moviegoers. Hopefully we can look forward to the vignette sequence in the bonus features. Check out the trailer for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Previously, Nicolas Cage shared that he wouldn't be watching the movie starring himself about him, but he’s since admitted that he’s seen it twice since he is a producer on the project. He also has said that the idea of being in the movie was “absolutely terrifying” to him, which actually became a reason he decided to do it to challenge himself. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is set to premiere at SXSW on Friday, March 12, ahead of the movie heading to theaters on April 22. You can check out what other upcoming 2022 movies are headed our way here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.