‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’: Nicolas Cage as himself
Reading about Nicolas Cage’s latest projects is the equivalent of a Wikipedia binge at two in the morning. It starts out innocently enough clicking on one article, but four hours later you’re chugging Red Bull and reading about the trend of swallowing goldfish on college campuses in the 1930s.
In line with the tradition of just going completely balls-to-the-wall crazy, Cage signed onto a new film titled The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and Lionsgate is in final negotiations to pick up the project. The script was written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, with Gormican attached to direct.
On par for Nicolas Cage . . . but what’s it about?
The plot seems simple enough. The character of Nicolas Cage, portrayed by the actor Nicolas Cage, takes a $1 million deal to headline the birthday party of a Mexican superfan.
Then things get weird.
According to Deadline, the party mood changes quite suddenly, forcing Cage (Cage) to “become a version of some of his most iconic and beloved characters in order to extricate himself from an increasingly dangerous situation”.
Will there be bees?
Obviously, it is our heart’s desire that Cage (Cage) recreates the iconic scene from the lesser version of The Wicker Man, but the details on the birthday party are still vague. The Hollywood Reporter noted this is not the average Cage (Cage). This is a Cage (Cage) desperate to snag the lead role in a new Quentin Tarantino film, who also has to deal with a complicated relationship with his teenage daughter.
(Incidentally, Nicolas Cage has two sons: Googling that small factoid led us on another Wikipedia jaunt where we learned more about a small, select community of individuals who believe they possess vampiric abilities. It was a two-hour distraction. We don’t recommend it.)
There’s also a 1990s narcissistic version of Cage who mocks modern Cage (Cage) for his decline in star power, debasing him for making crappy movies. However, after reading the plot synopsis, we realized this sounds pretty basic for a Cage (Cage) movie. Where are the bees? Where are the vampires? Where are the Elvis impersonators?
With that in mind, we went on another Wikipedia journey into the abyss and came up with our top five most meta Cage roles that truly make us question if he’s acting or just channeling the energy of a coked-up gremlin who knows the universe’s secrets and is here to pass judgement on humanity.
Time does not exist in Nicolas Cage’s mind cage, but let us all take a journey to 1993. There was a big flood, Bill Clinton became president, and events at Waco did not end well.
Cage also starred in Deadfall, directed by his brother Christopher Coppola, that year. Cage’s character Eddie has a cocaine-fueled breakdown, which for any other actor might sound dramatic, but not for us Cage-heads. The true star of the film is Cage’s corrupt cowboy mustache and the collection of polyester shirts he sports as a expletive-laden con man.
Deadfall possesses a rare 0% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which seems generous.
In a second-long freeze frame from 1988’s Vampire’s Kiss, a meme was born. Nicolas Cage stars as Peter Loew, a literary agent who believes he’s turning into a vampire.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Captain Antonio Corelli loves choral singing, his mandolin, and romancing the local ladies on the island of Cephalonia.
The 2001 film directed by John Madden is perhaps one of the odder choices in Cage’s career. It’s a historical romance? On an island? World War II is happening? There’s a tortured love affair? What is our beloved Nicholas Cage doing here? Why are there no full-body freakouts or comments on the length of time he can spend eating fruit?
Let Cage out of the cage, is what we’re saying.
Additionally, due to the enormous popularity of the book and movie, the island residents on Cephalonia created a petition to change the island’s name to Ainolahpec. The people of Cephalonia are better than this film, Nicolas Cage is better than this film, the audience watching this film are better than this film. It’s meta in how un-meta it is.
The 2010 black comedy was the first time we noticed Cage leaning into the madness. Obviously, by the time Mandy came around, Cage had embraced the meta-weirdness of his reputation, but Kick-Ass was the first time we thought he might be embracing it.
Big Daddy is basically the Diet Coke version of Batman, and the intensity he gives to a secondary character in what should be a comedy has us intrigued, and also slightly terrified.
The Wicker Man
Obviously, 2006’s The Wicker Man made the list. We could actually just display a series of freeze frames from the film, as a policeman Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) heads off in search of the daughter of his ex-fiance and encounters cults, bees, and bears.
1973’s The Wicker Man was a study in quiet, creeping horror, as Police Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) journeys to a remote Scottish isle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. American film magazine Cinefantastique called it “the Citizen Kane of horror movies”.
The 2006 version also exists. And there are bees. We love the bees. Nicolas Cage’s character did not care for them, however.