Nicolas Cage has made so many movies that the last person left for him to play on the big screen is himself. The Oscar-winner is reportedly set to star in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a meta-movie written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten that will lampoon Hollywood. It could be Cage's first movie at a major studio since 2011.
Lionsgate is in final negotiations to pick up the project, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Gormican, who wrote and directed the 2014 romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, has signed on to direct. THR reports that Paramount and HBO Max also had interest in the project.
Cage would star as Nicolas Cage, who is desperate to get into a new Quentin Tarantino movie while trying to save his relationship with his teenage daughter. He also gets visits from an egotistical 1990 version of himself who makes fun of him for making bad movies and not being a real star.
The fictional Cage's career changes after he meets a Mexican billionaire who is a fan of his work and hopes Cage will film a script he is writing. Unfortunately for Cage, it turns out that the CIA is on the billionaire's tracks because he is a drug cartel kingpin who kidnapped the daughter of a Mexican politician. While the CIA wants Cage to help them, the billionaire brings Cage's ex-wife and daughter to Mexico, putting them in danger.
According to THR, the story includes references to Cage's Oscar-winning role in Leaving Las Vegas. Face-Off and Gone in 60 Seconds are also referenced and the script-within-the-movie has a plot like the movie itself.
Kevin Turen, a producer on Waves and the series Euphoria, is producing with Cage under his Saturn Films banner with Mike Nilon.
Sources told THR that Gormican and Etten did not even write The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent as a project they thought would get made. They hoped to revive their careers and write it as a sample script to open some doors. Some thought the script could actually be filmed though, and tried to get Cage interested.
Cage was shown the script, along with a letter from Gormican that the film would be a love letter to his work and not a parody. He liked the idea and was attached to the project recently.
This would be Cage's first project at a studio known for wide releases since 2011. Aside from a handful of voice acting roles, like playing Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, his last major studio movie was Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
However, Cage has not gone anywhere. In 2019, he appeared in six films alone - Grand Isle, Primal, Kill Chain, Running with the Devil, Color Out of Space and A Score to Settle. His future projects include Pig, Jiu Jitsu, Prisoners of the Ghostland, Wally's Wonderworld and 10 Double Zero.
Cage does have history with meta movies. His second and most recent Oscar nomination came for 2002's Adaptation., in which he played writer Charlie Kaufman and Kaufman's fictional brother Donald.0comments
As for Gormican, his only directing credit is That Awkward Moment, which starred Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller. Etten and Gormican created the short-lived Fox series Ghosted.
Photo credit: Getty Images