Most individuals watching the surreal A24 movie Dream Scenario will consider it as a challenge tailored for Nicolas Cage. It’s precisely the form of oddity he likes — a character-driven, high-concept story that lets Cage train each side of his appearing character: the quiet, soulful facet he dropped at movies like Leaving Las Vegas and Pig, and the manic, shouty one which makes him go viral in movies like Mother and Dad or The Wicker Man. It’s onerous to think about Dream Scenario working with out Cage. However as writer-director Kristoffer Borgli identified after the movie’s secret screening on the 2023 Implausible Fest in Austin, Texas, it practically was made with out him — Adam Sandler was originally forged within the lead function.
Cage stars as Paul Matthews, a nebbishy, ineffectual professor who abruptly begins showing within the desires of individuals world wide. “I didn’t have anyone specifically in mind when I was writing it,” Borgli informed the Implausible Fest viewers at a post-screening Q&A. “For a brief moment, Adam Sandler was attached, and it just didn’t work out, for a variety of reasons of timing and everything. No one is to blame here — it’s just circumstantial. But it did lead to Nicolas Cage, which, you know, now I cannot see the movie in any other way.”
In an interview with Polygon at Implausible Fest, Borgli went into extra element about how Sandler ended up off the movie. “We were setting this up during the pandemic. Everything was very uncertain,” Borgli mentioned. “It was his schedule. There have been simply too many variables, and it simply didn’t work out.
“It probably would have been a very different movie.”
That mentioned, Borgli mentioned he didn’t alter the script in any approach when Cage took over the lead function. In his thoughts, the change was all tonal: “Nic Cage just really manifested a version of Paul Matthews that I think was uniquely his, that only he could do. And I really love it. I can’t think of a different version now. He made the script really come to life. […] He just made every part of the movie more watchable and interesting, with tiny little gestures and nuances. He made choices as an actor that were refreshing and fun, and in that sense, just made it better.”
Borgli mentioned Cage astonished him a bit on the movie, as a result of he’s by no means labored with an actor who got here to a job so ready and punctilious in regards to the script. “When we did our first makeup test, when we started trying out outfits, he was already reciting the script perfectly,” he mentioned. “I was amazed. He kept saying ‘It’ll get better!’ I’m like, ‘You’re so good already!’ There was never a flub of a line on set, even, which was just amazing to me.”
On the Q&A, Borgli additionally mentioned Cage wound up being good for the function due to his particular humorousness. At one notably awkward second in Dream Scenario, Paul prematurely ejaculates whereas additionally farting. “I doubted so much, writing cum-fart jokes,” Borgli informed the viewers. “I had people read the script and be like, No, that’s where I fell off. But I believe I found a kindred spirit in Nicolas Cage. I think he said something like ‘Why not three farts?’”
Dream Scenario is in theaters now.