It’s never easy to write a film script with a specific actor in mind. There’s always a chance that they’d have no interest in the project, or potentially even end up missing out due to scheduling conflicts. Luckily, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which was written with Nicolas Cage playing a fictional version of himself, managed to get the actor to join the project. One of the writers of the script, Kevin Etten, who wrote it alongside Tom Gormican, shared that they almost didn’t get the actor to join, as Cage was hesitant at first.
We were told that Nick has done these projects before and he’s not wild about Nick as Nick. And we weren’t two guys who had a huge body of work that you could point to and be like, ‘No, trust us. The funny part about that was we have a bunch of studios interested in the script. But there’s an asterisk on all of this meaning if he doesn’t want to do it, your sale goes away. Like, by the way, we don’t want this fucking thing if he’s not in it. There is no other version of it. When he was reading the script it was like this sort of double anxiety. It’s not like if he doesn’t do it, we’ll offer it to somebody else. It was goneKevin Etten
Once it seemed uncertain if the actor would join, they’ve also considered casting someone else in the role, which seemingly included Daniel Day-Lewis and even Christian Bale. Luckily, we know that Cage ended up joining the cast and bringing the fictional version of himself to life.
There were times when I think I… was trying to talk myself into other ideas. The only actually good idea — I don’t know whose it was — was to have either Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis playing Nick Cage.Kevin Etten
Even if we got the original vision, it would’ve been fun to imagine just how crazy it would look if someone else took on the role. Though, it would be fun to explore the concept with different actors, which could create some interesting scenarios and very