Jon M. Chu on the science and magic of Now You See Me 2
The Four Horsemen have returned to let loose their own brand of implausible magic upon the world and for some unexplainable reason, I'm actually looking forward to it. Jon M. Chu has taken over directing duties from Louis Leterrier for NOW YOU SEE ME 2, which finds the magical foursome in hiding after the events of the first film. A new trailer for NOW YOU SEE ME 2 dropped this morning and Jon M. Chu spoke with Entertainment Weekly to discuss a little of what's in store for the Four Horsemen, including what they're up to when the sequel kicks off.
They’re in hiding in the beginning of the movie and they’re frustrated because the promise of working with the Eye is not exactly how they imagined it. They’ve had to stay in hiding. They haven’t had the big next job yet. They’ve been training and planning something that they’re not privy to when it’s going to occur or exactly what it is yet.
Even though I'm a sucker for movies about magic, NOW YOU SEE ME didn't completely win me over thanks to illusions which were very obviously assisted by CG. Judging by the trailers for the sequel, we're in for more of the same, but Jon M. Chu says that they've tried to combine science and magic by doing as much as they could practically.
In this movie, we really wanted to show that all magic has a mechanic to it, because these are highly specialized people who use storytelling, use distraction, use sleight of hand, mentalism, and hypnotism to achieve their allusion. We don’t necessarily do hocus pocus magic in this movie. We tried to do a lot of it practically. You’ll physically see these things. We created the contraptions and the things so we could actually shoot it on camera. What’s fun about this movie, too, especially Daniel [Radcliffe] — he’s this guy who loves magic, but has been burned by magic, so he’s turned to science as the real magic. He’s really bad at magic, actually. So Daniel Radcliffe in the movie is not good at magic. When he does finally accomplish magic, his favorite part is to tell everyone how he did it. That mechanic is a fun thing that we play off of as our team tries to unravel what he has put them in.
One of the original Four Horseman is absent from the sequel as Isla Fisher was unable to take part due to her pregnancy, but Jon M. Chu says that there is "definitely an explanation" for her absence. Lizzy Caplan will take her place as the fourth member of the Horsemen, and her character is said to be completely different from Fisher's character.
We definitely did not want to tread on Henley territory. She was so great and we loved Henley. Lula is actually a fan of the Horsemen and of the Eye and all these things of what she thinks is true. She has studied them as well. She gets dropped in here as someone who is eager. She doesn’t know how to lie. She just speaks the truth. She loves geek magic, which is basically like bloody, gutsy magic. Her magic is very gross, I guess. It’s very bloody and things are always being cut off.
Many people believed that Lionsgate really dropped the ball by not titling the sequel NOW YOU DON'T, but despite Jon M. Chu fighting for it, the studio ended up choosing name recognition over a fun title. Understandable, but still disappointing.
I pushed for Now You Don’t, I really did. The title would be really long, but also the name recognition was Now You See Me, The studio and everybody believed that is the name recognition. If you call it Now You Don’t, there’s a confusion there. If you say Now You See Me: Now You Don’t, it’s a really long, more confusing title. There was a huge debate. We went back and forth. It’s the No. 1 comment I get almost every day of my life since joining this movie. We’ve had meetings about it, but ultimately that’s a studio call. I think Now You See Me has become such a brand that they really wanted to stick with that recognition of what this movie. I think it was hard to communicate what this movie was in the first movie. It’s a heist movie with magicians! They wanted to stick with that idea.
NOW YOU SEE ME 2 is set for a June 10, 2016 release.
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