Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Surprising Oscar Winners Considered To Play The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent's Nicolas Cage If He Had Passed

Tom Gormican's "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" takes an absurdly meta look at the long and storied career of the legendary Nicolas Cage. In the film, a fictionalized version of Cage finds himself hired to attend the birthday of an obsessive superfan played by "The Mandalorian" star Pedro Pascal. However, as the actor embarks on the "easy money" job, he soon finds himself enlisted by the CIA to conduct surveillance on the mysterious fan. The film debuted in theaters on April 22 and has earned rave reviews from critics thus far.

Of course, it would only make sense that a movie so fundamentally focused on Cage's legacy as an actor would star Cage himself. However, as in nearly all Hollywood productions, actually convincing the star to do the film was far from a surefire thing. Indeed, even Cage has admitted that he was initially quite hesitant to take on the role, apparently turning it down a number of times before eventually relenting (via Jimmy Kimmel Live!). Luckily, Cage agreed to make "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" after receiving a letter from Gormican.

Interestingly enough, there were plans for the film that did not include Cage. In the event that Cage firmly turned down the offer, producers developed a number of alternate castings that could have proven quite interesting. In fact, according to one of the writers of the film, some major Oscar winners were even considered for the role before Cage confirmed his involvement in the project.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale were both considered to play Nicolas Cage in Massive Talent

During a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" director Tom Gormican and co-screenwriter Kevin Etten were asked whether they ever considered any alternate casting ideas. Somewhat surprisingly, the two had an interesting set of answers. While Nicolas Cage was always the favorite for the role, another idea was occasionally thrown about the writers' room. 

According to Etten, rather than refocus the entirety of the film's plot around a different actor's persona, the idea was to have another famous actor attempt to portray Cage. "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," Etten said (via THR). "But really, no. Nobody else who really has a mixture of the super high talent he has and the goodwill of people wanting him to [succeed]."

Of course, while it's fun to imagine the "There Will Be Blood" star and "The Dark Knight" actor giving their best impressions of Cage, there isn't any indication either actor was ever in actual contention for the role. Indeed, Day-Lewis retired from acting in 2017 at the age of 60, following his performance in "Phantom Thread" (via Variety), while Bale has kept busy with everything from "Thor: Love and Thunder" to an upcoming David O. Russell movie (via IMDb).