Burt Wonderstone


For a while there, whenever somebody talked about the upcoming comedy about dueling magicians, Burt Wonderstone, it was often just viewed as the next starring vehicle for Steve Carell. He’s long been attached to the lead role of an aging illusionist whose less than fresh magic act has lost its steam. The questions of who would play the flashier, younger magician who takes his place in the hearts and minds of magic fans, or who some of the other characters would be, never seemed to get much attention. But once the movie got a director and another re-write, it became time to start filling out the rest of the cast. And they’ve been doing a pretty bang-up job so far. Big names like Jim Carrey and James Gandolfini have been mentioned as negotiating for the film, and at this point are assumed to be on board. Carrey will play the flashier magician to Carell’s outdated dud, and Gandolfini is said to be playing a casino owner. And now, joining those names are a couple more actors that you might have heard of: sex symbols Olivia Wilde and Steve Buscemi. Wilde is negotiating to play the role of Carell’s love interest (yeah, right!), a magician’s assistant who bounces back and forth between his character and Carrey’s. And Buscemi is negotiating to play Carell’s long-time partner, who ends up quitting the act.



Jason Reitman has been a pretty successful director. His last two features alone, Juno and Up in the Air, got him tons of attention during awards season. Not surprisingly, he has another high profile project coming up. It’s an adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel Labor Day, and it’s got a couple big names rumored to star in Kate Winslett and Josh Brolin. But before he does that, Reitman is set to spend a couple weeks doing something that he’s never done before, work as a script doctor. New Line is bringing him in to give the script for their upcoming comedy Burt Wonderstone a once over. Wonderstone is a comedy about rival magicians working in Las Vegas. Steve Carell has been attached to star as the aging magician who is being shown up by a flashy young upstart, and recently, television veteran Charles McDougall has been signed up to be the director. It seemed to me that with those two elements in place, the project was ready to move forward, but apparently there are a few kinks that the studio feels need to be worked out first. The script for this one has been bouncing around at some level of production for years. The original draft was written by a guy named Chad Kultgen. For the past couple years writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who also worked together on the upcoming Horrible Bosses, have been the names associated with it. That would make Reitman the fourth name involved […]



I apologize for using abracadabra in the headline. I sincerely couldn’t help myself. But on to the information… Steve Carell has been attached to a comedy about Las Vegas magicians for a while now. It was originally put together in 2006, but now it seems to have some motion; a director has been attached as well. The film is called Burt Wonderstone and it is about Carell’s more traditional magic act being overshadowed by a flashy young upstart, resulting in a rivalry developing. It sounds like a cross between The Illusionist and The Prestige with a little Zoolander thrown in for good measure. Not bad. The director who is looking to sign on is Charles McDougall. Who is Charles McDougall, you ask? Shame on you! The man has won an Emmy! He’s a TV director who has worked with Carell on numerous episodes of The Office. In addition to that he has directed episodes of the brilliant Parks and Recreation, episodes of the show I haven’t seen The Tudors, and episodes of the unwatchable Sex and the City. His masterpiece is the Emmy winning pilot episode of Desperate Housewives. I say that with derision in my voice, but I’ve never seen an episode of Desperate Housewives. What do I know? Regardless, a guy who has directed episodes of several really good comedies is set to direct a comedy starring Steve Carell. That might be good. Of course, if they get Will Arnett to play the flashy young magician it will […]

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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