The Hollywood superstar plays a fictional character called Nick Cage in the new film opposite "The Mandalorian" star Pedro Pascal and although the part was based on Nicolas himself, screenwriters Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten needed a back-up plan in case they weren't able to sign the star for the leading role.
Kevin told The Hollywood Reporter, "We were told that Nic has done these projects before and he's not wild about Nic as Nick." He went on sharing, "And we weren't two guys who had a huge body of work that you could point to and be like, 'No, trust us.' "
Tom added, "The funny part about that was we have a bunch of studios interested in the script, but there's an asterisk on all of this meaning if he doesn't want to do it, your sale goes away."
"Like, by the way, we don't want this f**king thing if he's not in it. There is no other version of it," he continued. "When he was reading the script it was like this sort of double anxiety. It's not like if he doesn't do it, we'll offer it to somebody else. It was gone."
He explained, "There were times when I think I... was trying to talk myself into other ideas."
"The only actually good idea - I don't know whose it was - was to have either Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis playing Nic Cage."
"Nobody else who really has a mixture of the super high talent he has and the goodwill of people wanting him to succeed."
Nicolas' co-star in the film Pedro recently admitted it was an "incredible challenge" working to the Hollywood legend's standards. He said, "There was almost something about, I don't know, reawakening the things that you care about and why you got into it in the first place, because he’s still challenging himself."
"He's super prepared, he's coming up with new ideas, and, honestly," the "Game of Thrones" alum gushed over the "Con Air" star, "it was an incredible challenge to rise to but it was mostly a really beautiful inspiration and a reminder of why I had this fantasy to start with and then study and then job." He added, "It was because of how he feels and how he treats acting."