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About The Production
In 2013, Now You See Me mesmerized the world with the David and Goliath escapades of the Four Horsemen, a preternaturally gifted group of professional illusionists who pull off daring heists at the expense of a corrupt billionaire. Now You See Me 2 brings back the talented group in a lightning-paced global adventure that blurs the line between heroes and villains as the Horsemen continue their mission armed only with their imaginations, skill and camaraderie.

The success of the first film, which grossed over $300 million worldwide and earned the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Thriller, made the Horsemen's return to the screen inevitable, helmed this time by director Jon M. Chu, whose previous credits include two chapters of the popular Step Up series and the 2013 concert film Justin Bieber's Believe. With expertise in movement, technology and cutting-edge design, Chu brought just the combination of skills the producers were looking for to make big, bold and innovative onscreen magic.

A big fan of Now You See Me, Chu jumped at the chance to work with a cast full of world-class actors, including five Oscar winners and nominees, to make a movie combining magic, storytelling and mystery. "This script was so much fun to work on," he continues. "However this time around, we get to be with the Horsemen as they are trapped in a magic trick themselves and have to use their illusionist skills to get out. Ed Solomon is a brilliant writer and combines intricate story architecture with a breezy pace and fun tone that makes the movie an event for the whole family."

If directing a sequel to a massively successful movie presented a daunting challenge, it was one Chu was anxious to take on. "I admire everyone involved with this film," he says. "When we all sat down together, it was very intimidating. But everyone was focused on making a great movie, so the collaboration was amazing."

Producer Bobby Cohen, a veteran of Now You See Me, happily returned to work on the second chapter. "When we made the first film, we loved it and knew we were on to something, but it never even occurred to us that we would make a sequel. It was very gratifying to be able to call the people who took that original leap of faith with us and say, 'What do you think about doing another one?'"

Writer Ed Solomon, who co-wrote the first film, collaborated with Peter Chiarelli on the new story, which incorporates even more magic, intrigue and action, as well as an international setting. His goal was to capture the spirit of the original movie while reinventing the concept. "We have this group of characters that we really love hanging out with," Solomon says. "What could be different this time? We had the idea of presenting them with a magic trick that they get trapped in and have to figure their way out of. We thought that would be exciting and fun, while giving us a lot to work with."

In Now You See Me 2 the filmmakers have shifted from a performance-oriented heist movie to something harder to categorize, in Solomon's opinion. "For me, movies that defy easy classification are the most successful," he says. "I can't describe what this genre is. It's been called a spy-thriller or a caper movie. Some people call it a magic-comedy. It's a little bit of all of those things. We tried to create the feeling that you're watching a really great magician at work. You know you're being fooled, but you don't know how it's being done. It is a slightly heightened reality with characters who are a little bit smarter than most people, people who have skills that seem almost like super powers."

The audience will feel like they are watching first hand as great magicians do their best work, according to the

screenwriter, whose numerous past credits include Men in Black and cult-classic Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. "You should have that dual response that magic so often evokes," Solomon says. "You are amazed by what you are seeing even though you know you're being fooled. You're excited to see where it will take you. There's that wonderful suspension of disbelief."

Solomon praises Chu's on-set demeanor, as well as his innate filmmaking instincts. "There are so many things that I really like about working with Jon," says the screenwriter. "He's very trusting of the artists around him because he believes they will bring their best work to the movie. Just knowing he believes that makes people strive to do it. He's got an incredible eye and he's really good with choreography and movement. His rapport with the actors is great. Jon runs a really calm and easy set, and given how complicated this movie is, that's a really great place to be."

"I've known Jon for about ten years," says Cohen. "He had just come out of USC film school, where he made an extraordinary short that was a full-fledged musical. He was one of the first people we thought of for this. He really understands that choreography and movement within a frame is essential to what magicians do."

Now You See Me 2 picks up one year after the first film ends, with the Horsemen in hiding and waiting to find out what the mysterious secret society of magicians known as The Eye will ask of them next. Although the Horsemen's nemesis, Thaddeus Bradley, a notorious debunker of magic, has been framed for their crimes and jailed, the magicians remain the subjects of an FBI manhunt.

"In the first movie, the Horsemen know their plan before we do," says Cohen. "The audience has the pleasure of trying to figure it out. This time, things go wrong very quickly for the Horsemen. The audience can look forward to watching a movie that has a bigger scope, bigger laughs and bigger action, while going deeper into the mythology of The Eye. We have impressive magic tricks, more puzzles, more surprises and so much more fun."

At the heart of this film, like that of its predecessor, is a sense of adventure and wonder, says Solomon. "I hope it's at least as much fun for the audience to watch as it was for us to make," he adds. "I think people love magic for the same reason they love jokes. It's the element of surprise. You know it's a game, but you feel safe. People love watching an expert doing something they don't quite understand and trying to get to the bottom of that mystery."


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