Nicolas Cage shines in Dream Scenario trailer — and I can't wait to watch

A24's Dream Scenario starring Nicolas Cage
(Image credit: A24)

Dream Scenario isn't coming to one of the best streaming services. At least — not yet. But that's OK. After watching the trailer for A24's latest movie, I'm more than willing to spend money to see it as soon as it hits theaters on November 10. Because Nicolas Cage absolutely shines in this surreal comedy.

In Dream Scenario, Cage plays Paul Matthews, a “remarkable nobody” who is a professor at a local college by day. But suddenly, he discovers that at night he’s been appearing in people’s dreams. 

"Appearing" is the operative word here because, from the trailer, it seems that he’s completely unaware of what everyone is dreaming. He’s not invading their minds while they sleep a la Freddy Kruger — though one hilarious scene has him posing for a photo shoot as the infamous horror villain.

Regardless of whether Dream Scenario turns out to be a dream or nightmare, the driving force is undoubtedly Cage’s performance as Paul. And after watching the trailer, I think it’s one I’ll look forward to visiting again and again.

It’s this aspect that makes Dream Scenario so intriguing. It’s not pure horror with Cage maliciously wreaking havoc in people’s minds, though that would also be well worth a watch. But Dream Scenario isn’t really a horror movie at all. Instead, it has the feel of a raucous comedy through most of the middle third of the trailer, set of course to "Dreams" by The Cranberries. 

Rest assured, though, this won’t be some inspirational comedy about an average man whose life is changed for the better by his newfound fame. While things certainly seem to be going well for Paul at first, his dream scenario turns into a chaotic nightmare by the end of the trailer. He appears in his daughters’ nightmares, people turn against him and it seems one disturbed dreamer begins to hunt him down with a crossbow — though in a twist it appears this may be Paul hunting himself in his own dream.

Regardless of whether Dream Scenario turns out to be a dream or nightmare, the driving force is undoubtedly Cage’s performance as Paul. And after watching the trailer, I think it’s one I’ll look forward to visiting again and again.

Dream Scenario: Cast and release date

Aside from Cage’s Paul Matthews, Dream Scenario also stars Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Eastown) as his wife Janet and Lily Bird (Beau is Afraid) as his daughter Sophie. We also get some incredible comedic actors alongside Cage in the form of Michael Cera as Trent, the head of a viral marketing firm capitalizing on Paul’s newfound notoriety and Tim Meadows as Brett, the dean of the college Paul teaches at. The remaining cast is listed below:

  • Dylan Gelula as Molly, Trent’s assistant
  • Dylan Baker as Richard, Paul’s colleague
  • Kate Berlant as Mary, Trent's business partner
  • Jessica Clement as Hannah, Paul's other daughter
  • Cara Volchoff as Candice
  • Noah Centineo as Dylan
  • Nicholas Braun as Brian Berg
  • Amber Midthunder as Haley

Dream Scenario debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9 hits theaters on November 10, 2023.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.


Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.