NOW YOU SEE ME 2
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
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
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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