Have you ever wanted to see The Mandalorian and National Treasure’s Benjamin Franklin Gates scream “I love you!” at each other? Well, in this, the best of all possible worlds, we finally get to. Nicolas Cage is starring as himself (well, a fictionalized version of himself…probably) in the upcoming movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and the newly released red band trailer is really something. In the trailer, we get a quick introduction to which Nicolas Cage we are seeing here: a washed-up, broke, and not well-respected variant Cage in which he’s getting pushback from his agent, played by fellow thespian Neil Patrick Harris. Despite his misgivings, Cage accepts a million dollars to attend a mysterious, wealthy man’s birthday party (always a red flag), and in comes Pedro Pascal. Check it out:
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent presents us with two interesting figures: Nicolas Cage as the most pathetic, insecure version of himself and Pedro Pascal as seemingly both the biggest and only Nicolas Cage fan in the world. In the trailer, Pascal shows Cage his collection of Cage memorabilia, including a creepy, life-size mannequin of Cage in character as Castor Troy from Face/Off, golden guns included. Those golden guns keep coming up, because with the introduction of Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz as CIA agents, it becomes clear that Pascal’s superfan is also some kind of ruthless criminal. Cage gets roped into assisting them on a real-life spy mission, while Pascal is warned by his underlings that his beloved Nicolas Cage is a CIA plant. But really, a lot of the trailer is spent on Cage and Pascal buddying around and they look like they’re having the best time ever.
Pedro Pascal has seen his star rise in recent years, with The Mandalorian and the upcoming video game adaptation limited series The Last of Us, making him one of the highest-paid TV actors in the world. For Nicolas Cage, the last decade has been more complicated. He emerged as a talented character actor and scion of a legendary show business family in the 1980s. Cage rapidly pinged between film genres, never settling on one long enough for Hollywood to completely make sense of him. While exploring romantic comedies with movies like Moonstruck and It Could Happen to You, he also worked with critically beloved figures like the Coen Brothers (Raising Arizona) and David Lynch (Wild at Heart). The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent trailer even seems to be directly referencing the latter:
Nicolas Cage became both an action star in the Jerry Bruckheimer mold and an Academy Award winner in the 1990s. He infamously ran into tax and spending problems in the 2000s, and began to appear in low-budget, low-quality schlock at a rapid rate. However, just as he was being written off, Cage returned to prestige acting and bizarre projects at the same time. In 2021 alone, he starred in both Willy’s Wonderland, a horror-action-comedy in which he fights possessed Chuck E. Cheese knockoffs, and Pig, an unexpectedly emotional drama about a former chef looking to rescue his beloved truffle-hunting pig. He can never really be counted out, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent may be offering him his strangest role of all: himself. Cage has already said he has no plans to watch the movie, so we are just going to have to do that for him.