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THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

Characters and Casting
BALTHAZAR BLAKE is a student of Merlin and a Sorcerer. More than 1,000 years old, Balthazar has been searching the globe until he finds the Prime Merlinean, the descendent of Merlin and inheritor of his great powers. When Balthazar finally discovers him in 10-yearold Dave Stutler, he finds himself with a very reluctant sorcerer's apprentice. "For Balthazar, finding the Prime Merlinean is a journey that must be made, no matter the distance,” says Nicolas Cage, who stepped into the role of sorcerer. "The relationship between Balthazar and Dave is almost like a paternal one. I think he may be the Prime Merlinean by virtue of the fact that he can wear Merlin's dragon ring, so when I find Dave, it's with great affection and relief. I want to guide him, instruct him and train him for a larger purpose. But for Dave, it's pretty overwhelming to have someone walk into his life, tell him he's the descendent of Merlin and that together we're going to save the world. If you're Dave, you're going to tell the guy he's nuts.”

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice” marks Cage's seventh collaboration with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, his third with director Jon Turteltaub. "[Jerry] understands my sort of algebraic addition to the process—the X factor, if you will,” says Cage. "I trust that Jerry will make movies that will be entertaining for people, because that is his priority. And he trusts that I will come up with the X factor that will somehow make sense of it all in terms of the character and will fit within the narrative. I think that's why he hires actors with an alternative point of view, because it does add an extra dimension to his formula. So it is a happy marriage where there is a shorthand. I know how he works and vice versa.

"Jon is very good with comedy and he knows how to get humor out of a scene,” Cage continues. "I have an interest in the darker and more edgy things, so Jon looks to me to go into more of the mystical aspect of the character and I look to him to help bring in more of the comedy that can connect with audiences. So it's a good mix and we balance each other out.”

DAVE STUTLER is a nerdy NYU physics major, lacking confidence and poise, not very popular with girls or even his fellow students. "I'm a huge, huge nerd,” confesses Jay Baruchel, selected to portray Dave in the film. "I love any movies where guys shoot energy out of their hands, but I'm not usually the go-to guy for stuff like that. And then I read the script, and I was like, ‘wait a second…a guy like me gets to shoot energy out of his hands and stuff? Done! I'm here for the plasma bolts!'”

At the age of 10, Dave experiences a frightening incident when he encounters sorcerer Balthazar Blake after wandering into the bizarre Arcana Cabana curio shop. He's given a dragon ring that comes to life on his finger, and he's told that he'll be a very important sorcerer himself. He then witnesses a furious battle between Balthazar and another sorcerer named Maxim Horvath, which made him want to forget the whole matter…until both Balthazar and Horvath re-enter his life 10 years later, forcing him to confront a destiny he would very much like to ignore! "Dave is his own worst enemy, the architect of his own misery,” says Baruchel. "He spends his life trying to live down that moment in the Arcana Cabana when he first encountered Balthazar and Horvath. He gravitates towards physics, which is the discipline he gives his life to. When he meets up with Balthazar again, the sorcerer tells Dave that it was no coincidence that he drifted towards physics, because although illusion and magic are different, magic and science are the same thing.”

"Jay is just off-the-charts talented,” says Turteltaub, "extremely smart, bold, funny, great with physical comedy. His body, mind and voice all commit to whatever he's got to do. He doesn't have that silly look-at-me vanity

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