Nicolas Cage is closing in on perhaps the most Nicolas Cage role yet.
The 55-year-old actor is in talks to star in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, where he will portray… himself. No, really.
After a bit of competitive bidding, the ultra meta film has been acquired by Lionsgate, which beat out other studios such as HBO Max and Paramount. Tom Gormican (Ghosted) penned the script with help from Kevin Etten, and he’s also onboard to direct.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script will make numerous references to Cage’s own life, including his past works like Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, and Gone in 60 Seconds. Taking the meta atmosphere a step further, The Unbearable Weight storyline actually mirrors a script within the film written by Cage’s own, uhh, Cage character. The CIA and a Mexican drug cartel are also involved, naturally.
Cage was reportedly shown the pitch alongside a message from Gormican, in which the director emphasized how The Unbearable Weight is meant to be “a love letter to the actor, not something that made fun of him.”
Here’s the full plot synopsis and a breakdown of Cage’s character (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“The character is desperate to get a role in a new Tarantino movie while also dealing with a strained relationship with his teenage daughter. He also occasionally talks to an egotistical 1990s version of himself who rides him for making too many crappy movies and for not being a star anymore.
The Cage character is also under a mountain of debt and finds himself forced to make an appearance at the birthday party of a Mexican billionaire who happens to be a fan of Cage’s work and secretly hopes to show him a script on which he’s been working.
While he bonds with the man, Cage is informed by the CIA that the billionaire is actually a drug cartel kingpin who has kidnapped the daughter of a Mexican presidential nominee, and is recruited by the U.S. government to get intelligence. The situation spirals even more dramatically when the Mexican brings over Cage’s daughter and his ex-wife for a reconciliation, and when their lives are on the line, Cage takes on the role of a lifetime.
The story is meta and includes nods to Cage works such as Leaving Las Vegas, Face-Off and Gone in 60 Seconds, while the script that Cage and the Mexican are writing begins to mirror events on the storyline. The project has tones of Adaptation, which starred Cage, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s meta movie JCVD, and the John Travolta Hollywood caper Get Shorty, among others.”
Update – February 4th: Nicolas Cage has officially signed on for the film, which has received a March 19th, 2021 release date.