After the huge success of the first film, it was almost inevitable that Now You See Me 2 was going to appear and as if by magic, the sequel has now arrived on UK cinemas (Read our review here). And to celebrate the release, Flickering Myth’s Scott J. Davis got to sit down and chat magic and sequels with two of the film’s returning stars, Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco.
The first film grossed over $350 million worldwide so it was a certainty that a sequel would find its way into multiplexes. But the cast took a little convincing, with Eisenberg saying that despite the success of the first it was the sort of project that may not necessarily work a second time around:
“I think we were hesitant also because we weren’t sure when we were making the first one how it would turn out and we weren’t exactly sure what the tone would be – there was a strange and unusual mix of humour and drama and suspense and of irony…. When they pitched a sequel we all thought rightly so that we were all thinking: ‘this is going to be really hard to do.’”
Indeed the cast were not prepared for a sequel, so much so that many of the illusions and magic tricks that they had learnt were not something they continued to do after filming had finished. Franco, who is a deft hand at many card tricks, said it wasn’t something he continued with in-between films, saying:
“We didn’t really do it in-between movies in our spare time but then we had about a week of rehearsal where we got to meet up with these incredible magicians and essentially go through magic camp – that maybe sounds a little more glamorous than it actually was!”
This being a sequel of course everything has to get bigger, and one such sequence in the new film is pretty spectacular. The Four Horseman have to negotiate a secure vault at a high-profile computer programming site while stealing a data card without detection.
“We spent a week filming that scene!” Franco said on the sequence, with Eisenberg continuing: “We knew from the script that this was the best scene in the movie and it has to be great – we rehearsed for a while and the exact moves… It took about a week to film because it was done in pieces. There was a real effort on the part of our director John Chu to try to make it all as real as possible.”
You can watch the full interview in the player below, as well as our exclusive interview with the film’s magician expert Keith Barry.
Now You See Me 2 is in UK cinemas now.