You know it’s been over a decade since The Prestige was released? Twelve years, man. Twelve years and we’ve had barely a handful of films about magicians. Two of the most notable were Now You See Me and its imaginatively named sequel, Now You See Me 2.
Billed as Ocean’s 11 style heist-movies with a performance magic twist and absolutely stuffed with genuinely brilliant actors, the films are popular, profitable (particular in China), and objectively terrible according to critics. A third film has already been announced.
Hopefully the recently-announced live show incarnation of the franchise is equally successful. It’s certainly got the talent on board. And I mean that literally: Every billed magician has a notable run on “[Country] has talent,” as well as a host of other magical accomplishments to their name.
James More will be playing “The Showman.” He got his start on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2013 and went on to tour the world for two years as part of The Illusionists.
France’s Got Talent finalist and two-time French magic champion, Florian Sainvet, will be playing “The Manipulator.”
Sabine van Diemen of The Illusionists and Holland’s Got Talent fame will be playing “The Escape Artist.”
Enzo Weyne from France’s Got Talent will be playing “The Mentalist.”
There’ll also be a fifth cast member unique to each region the show visits. The show will open in China, which not only loves the two Now You See Me films as I’ve already mentioned, but also has a voracious appetite for stage magic.
The films rely on a lot of CGI for their sleight-of-hand tricks, whereas the performers in Now You See Live will have to rely on their (proven) talent and expertise. The show promises “state-of-the-art magic with cutting-edge technology, surprise twists, and never-before-seen illusions from some of the greatest magicians in the world.”
What it won’t feature is whatever the hell this is.