- Despite initially considering Adam Sandler for the role, writer/director Kristoffer Borgli admits that it’s impossible to unsee Nicolas Cage in the lead of Dream Scenario. Cage’s choices add a mesmerizing and artistic layer to the movie while channeling his own personal experiences.
- Adam Sandler’s recent career ventures into thriller and drama genres, such as Uncut Gems and Hustle, show his potential to fit well in Dream Scenario‘s blend of comedic and dramatic tones. However, Cage’s casting aligns better with the director’s intentions for the film, especially given his enthusiasm for exploring the “memeification” of his own career.
- While Sandler’s involvement could have resulted in a different movie, Cage’s presence brings a unique energy to the surreal and nightmarish aspects of Dream Scenario, fitting into his repertoire of genre-blending performances. With the success of his recent projects, the film promises to be another exciting chapter in Cage’s ongoing resurgence.
Despite the Oscar winner seemingly proving the perfect part for the movie, writer/director Kristoffer Borgli reveals the Nicolas Cage-led Dream Scenario nearly starred another meme-worthy A-list actor. The surreal dramedy revolves around everyman professor Paul Matthews who finds himself the center of the world’s attention when he mysteriously appears in everyone’s dreams, though things quickly begin to spiral out of control. Alongside Cage, the ensemble cast for Dream Scenario includes Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Tim Meadows, Dylan Baker, Kate Berlant, Noah Centineo, Nicholas Braun and amber Midthunder.
In honor of the movie’s Fantastic Fest premiere, Collider caught up with Borgli to discuss Dream Scenario. When asked about the casting process for the bizarre comedy, the writer/director revealed that he initially considered the equally meme-worthy Adam Sandler for the role that ultimately went to Cage, before admitting that “in retrospect, it’s impossible for me to unsee Nic in this part.” See what Borgli explained below:
I think that looking back, in retrospect, it’s impossible for me to unsee Nic in this part. He just made the character so watchable and interesting. He does so many choices that are kind of mesmerizing and strange in a good way. Not only is he such a good actor, but just the idea of Nicolas Cage in our culture, who has gone through the thing where your persona outgrows the person, so he added kind of an artistic layer to the movie that is also hugely interesting, and I think he channeled some of his own personal experiences through the character.
How Dream Scenario Would Be Different With Adam Sandler
On paper, the bizarre concept driving Dream Scenario‘s plot sounds perfectly catered to Cage’s unique acting sensibilities and viral following. That said, Sandler’s recent career efforts do show he could’ve fit well for some of the movie’s blend of comedic and dramatic tones. More specifically, his acclaimed turns in the crime thriller Uncut Gems and the Netflix sports dramedy Hustle, for which he earned his first Screen Actor’s Guild Awards nomination, has shown his talents outside of his typical comedy fare.
That being said, his being at the forefront of Dream Scenario could’ve resulted in a very different movie. As shown by its first trailer, there looks to be a turn towards more nightmarish horror as Paul’s popularity continues to grow around the world, indicating it doesn’t fit neatly into just an absurd comedy. Cage has frequently tapped into this genre blending, particularly with the Five Nights at Freddy’s-like action horror comedy Willy’s Wonderland and modern Universal Monsters update Renfield playing the iconic Dracula.
While it could be argued that a dive into thriller/horror territory could be a further fresh expansion for Sandler’s filmography, Cage landing the lead in Dream Scenario seems to better fit Borgli’s intentions for the piece. Cage himself has been openly enthusiastic about getting to explore the “memeification” of his career with the movie, feeling that it was the perfect opportunity to explore his viral trend. Given the success he enjoyed with the meta-driven The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and early acclaim from Dream Scenario‘s festival premieres, it will be interesting to see if the surreal comedy proves another exciting chapter in his ongoing resurgence.