“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” sees Cage playing a fictionalized or “stylized” version of himself who is debt-ridden and who becomes a CIA informant after a billionaire mega-fan and drug lord, played by “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal, invites him to make a paid birthday party appearance. It’s a meta concept that harkens back to when Cage played screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his fictional twin brother in Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation.”
Some of the roles Cage has taken on may have been driven partially by a need to pay the bills, since he at one point owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS. Reports of a lavish lifestyle, with private islands, castles, and even a dinosaur skull were offset by his lawsuit against a former business manager for causing him “financial ruin.” However, as Cage himself recently pointed out in a GQ cover story, he “never phoned it in” with his performances, even when it might have seemed like he was slumming it.
This is something that director Guillermo del Toro concurred with when he recently tweeted, “He absolutely never, ever does anything but his best — I’ve said it before: there has not been, nor will there ever be an actor like Nicolas Cage. A master.”
Cage may have said he will never see “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” because it’s “just too much of a whacked-out trip” for him to go to a theater and watch him play himself. But for everyone else who might (rightly) consider that a good time, the movie is in theaters on Friday, April 22, 2022.