A while ago, we took a look at genius movie premises and whether they fulfilled their potential. Surprising though it may seem, Hollywood doesn’t actually appear to be short of good ideas, because there’s actually plenty more than we could fit on a single list. That’s because, among the wave of reboots and legacy sequels, the occasional brilliant idea seems to slip through.

Of course, just because a movie has an excellent premise, that doesn’t guarantee a quality result. Sometimes, movies with outstanding concepts fall short of the mark, and it’s thoroughly disappointing. Still, for every movie that fails to achieve its potential, there’s another that knocks it out of the park. These films normally owe their success to a filmmaker understanding exactly what makes the premise great (although some just seem to luck into a winning formula).

Though every one of these genius movie premises has the potential to be something truly great, they can’t all be winners. But, whether the potential for success is met or not, nothing can rob those movies of their excellent hook. A good idea is a good idea, after all. Here, then, are 7 movie premises that are simply genius.

7. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

Genius movie premises with potential - Nicolas Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The genius premise:

Nicolas Cage is on the brink of bankruptcy, and is offered $1 million to appear at a superfan’s birthday party. Unfortunately, the superfan is involved with a powerful arms cartel, and Cage’s family get kidnapped. The actor is forced to channel his inner action hero to save the day.

Did it fulfil its potential?

An emphatic yes. The potential for meta humor is certainly not wasted, but the film never relies too heavily on its gimmick. Nic Cage’s turbulent career remains the focus, but his onscreen chemistry with Pedro Pascal helps The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent feel more like a easy-going buddy comedy than the introspective satire it really is.