The Prestige starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman

The Prestige is Released

The Prestige first materialized on this day in 2006, conjuring up a mysterious story of two magicians (portrayed by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) in Victorian-era London, whose intense rivalry leads them on a lifelong battle for supremacy, featuring astonishing twists and deadly consequences.

Magicians Ricky Jay and Michael Weber were brought on as consultants to train the performers in the classic magician’s skills of prestidigitation and misdirection. However, because the magic tricks in the film simply provide the backdrop for the story of the hazardous rivalry, and are not intended to fool the film’s audience, the main task was to give the cast a deeper sense of how magicians think, move, and perform.

During the film’s initial release, Ricky noted the ring of truth in the storyline.

“Those kinds of competitions between magicians really did exist.”

That was a time in London when five or six magicians would be playing at theaters right next to each other on the same night, a time that has never been duplicated in the history of magic.”