A fine assembly of leading men gives audiences an insider’s view as they poke fun at the Las Vegas institution of big stage, high drama magical acts. Actors Steve Carell (Crazy.Stupid.Love, 40-Year-Old-Virgin), Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Steve Buscemi (HBO’s Boardwalk) and Alan Arkin (Argo, Little Miss Sunshine)give magical illusion a new meaning in the Warner Bros. comedy, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” opening March 15, in theaters nationwide.
Best buds since childhood and equally nerdy, Burt (Carell) and Anton (Buscemi) forged a forever friendship and business partnership becoming the most famous magical act the Las Vegas Strip has ever seen. Spoiled by the vanities of fame and fortune, their idyllic comforts are upstaged when street-born showman Steve Gray (Carrey) threatens to upstage them with his daring feats of illusion that only the disillusioned would perform. Gray lures larger crowds than Burt and Anton, flying fearlessly by the seat of his wild antics.
Not to be outdone, competition is sometimes the best medicine for a fledgling performance act and sometimes not. Gray’s ascension pulls Burt and Anton apart, causing them to question if they have the magic to keep their act intact. Relenting, Anton leaves the partnership; unrelenting, Burt maintains that his staid and crowd-losing routine needs no facelift, of sorts.
Borrowing from the legendary talents of iconic illusionist David Copperfield who served as the film’s consultant, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” fashions itself a magic show of epic proportion with a tender love story built within. As a side attraction, Copperfield gave reviewing press a personal tour of his historic Las Vegas museum, full of artifacts from illusionists dating back to the 1800s. We also witnessed his full blown magical stage experience at the MGM Grand Hotel, an amazing performance by any measure.
Carell admitted to also working with a team of professional magicians to help him with the sleight-of-hand tracks, but, he wouldn’t share any trade secrets. He shared a number of funny stories about making the film in Vegas wearing extreme makeup, wigs and costumes while walking through the casinos and no one took a second look. Carell said the lack of attention signaled they were onto something authentic because their extremities seemed standard fare among local and tourists to the famous “city of sin and secrets.”
Carrey in his trademark self-effacing manner did not disappoint during a press conference to discuss the movie. Looking fit and sleek in a pair a sunglasses that he never pulled out though it was a mid-morning discussion, the Toronto native said his fitness regime is indeed a workout and an effort to maintain, admitting to easing back into a less rigorous lifestyle since the movie wrapped. Reuniting Carrey and Carell in “Burt Wonderstone” brings back hilarious memories of their costarring roles on “Bruce Almighty.” Clearly, there is magic between them, on and off camera.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” from Warner Bros. Pictures was directed by Emmy Award winner Don Scardino (TV’s “30 Rock”), from a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (“Horrible Bosses”) and story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. It was produced by Chris Bender, Steve Carell, Jake Weiner and Tyler Mitchell. Diana Pokorny, Charlie Hartsock, Vance DeGeneres, J.C. Spink, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter served as executive producers.
The creative filmmaking team included director of photography Matthew Clark (TV’s “30 Rock”), production designer Keith Cunningham (“Ocean’s Eleven,” “Star Trek”), editor Lee Haxall (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”) and costume designer Dayna Pink (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”). The music was composed by Lyle Workman.