Nicholas Cage becomes Frampy Krueger in "Dream Scenario."

Matthews, a regular professor at a small college, is not particularly memorable—a bit dull, somewhat unkempt. Yet, for some reason, he keeps appearing in people's dreams. Not just people who know him; around the world, individuals start dreaming about Paul Matthews.

Matthews gains an infamous reputation—at least until his dreams turn into nightmares.

This sets the premise for the new film "Dream Scenario," starring Nicholas Cage.

At the start of the movie, Matthews dreams of being more than just a teacher. He craves recognition for years of research in evolutionary biology. "I think he has a megalomania," said screenwriter and director Christopher Borgli to NPR's A Martinez. "And I think he's the kind of character who would welcome such attention, even if it came from a very strange place, like appearing in people's dreams."

The dreams are as vivid and disorienting as any other: crocodiles crawling around or explosions happening, but regardless of what occurs, Paul Matthews does nothing. He just... hangs out.

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Nevertheless, he becomes a global curiosity. Soon, his children finally think he's cool (or, at least, he doesn't disappoint them as much). Attendance in his lectures grows. Students bombard him with questions. Matthews becomes a bit taller thanks to his newfound popularity.

But almost as soon as he begins to leverage this in interviews and book deals, Matthews becomes more active in people's dreams. And he doesn't behave very well. He torments. He kills. Borgli says, "Of course, living in everyone's head as a kind of Freddy Krueger accidentally starts becoming a big problem."

"Dream Scenario" explores the fickle nature of fame, especially in the era of social media. Borgli notes that while the desire for recognition of our achievements is noble, "I think the natural desire has become a weapon against us with the advent of the internet and the multitude of opportunities to create a platform for oneself. And I think that's an unhealthy way to version achievements with empty calories."