Cage plays himself in film, which also stars Pedro Pascal, Neil Patrick Harris, Sharon Horgan, and Tiffany Haddish.

Nicolas Cage plays a version of himself named "Nick Cage" in the comedy-thriller The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (in theaters April 22). So did director Tom Gormican and his writing partner Kevin Etten have a Plan B in mind should Cage have declined to appear in the film?

"No," Gormican tells EW. "No, no, no. It was written for Nic. He was not attached to this movie. This was a shot in the dark that we would end up getting him. If Nic said he did not want to do the movie, it was just a pile of garbage. It was very specifically for him. As a pure business decision, as a writer-director, it was probably the stupidest thing we could have done, but we just really, really believed in this particular story. I think it took a lot of courage for Nic to embrace this type of role where you're playing yourself, but it's a character who's not in a great place."

In the film, Nick Cage accepts a million dollars to attend the birthday party of a crime boss and Cage superfan named Javi (Pedro Pascal). "Javi has a wax statue of Nic and you think, 'Oh, it might be awkward between a film star and a fan,'" says Cage. "But they're both cinephiles, so they're having wonderful conversations about The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Paddington 2."

The cast also includes Neil Patrick Harris playing Cage's agent; Sharon Horgan and newcomer Lily Sheen as the actor's ex-wife and daughter, respectively; and Tiffany Haddish as a CIA agent. "Tiffany factors into the story once Nic has gotten to Mallorca, where the birthday party takes place," explains Gormican. "She ropes Nic into a CIA operation, and the plot [proceeds] from there."

Watch the teaser trailer for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent above and see the film's new poster below.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent'
| Credit: Lionsgate

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

When a down-on-his-luck Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a mysterious billionaire's birthday party, he ends up getting recruited by the CIA to spy on his dangerous host.

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