Nicolas Cage is his generation's version of Michael Caine, who used to be everywhere doing some of the best and worst films ever seen (example: Oliver Stone's The Hand,
which Caine did because he needed money for a new garage). Caine would often take a bad script because it allowed him to do something he hadn't done before, or shoot at a location he hadn't been before, so he could treat it as a working holiday.
Edit: I recommend Caine's book, Acting in Film,
which apparently was based on some videos he did coaching some aspiring actors doing acting exercises.