WGTC: A sequel has been discussed, are you involved with that in any way?
Leterrier: I am involved. Depending on my schedule, I don’t know if I’ll be able to direct it. I’m very involved in coming up with the story, coming up with the script. So worst case scenario I’ll be coming up with the story and producing the movie, if I’m not available. If I’m available I’ll totally direct it.
It sound like bullshit when you say it, but it’s true that this was a very special experience. A movie that has all the elements that you enjoy as a filmmaker, and yet is a thrill a shoot. Dangerous with complexity. I mean there was obviously never a risk to anybody, but it was trying new things. I think that our fun time shooting it is translated into your fun time seeing it. If the shoot is miserable, it’s very hot, no one enjoys it, it’s hard to make a movie where everyone goes, ‘Oh, it’s so fresh, and exciting, and everyone seemed to have such a good time.’ It’s sort of like you see pain in the actors’ eyes that their souls are just crying. But no, this one was fun. I want to explore these characters again, and get to work with this amazing group of actors, technicians, and producers. Just get everybody involved again and keep telling that story.
The story also, as you’ve seen and will see if you watch the extended cut, continues going a little deeper. It was always conceived as the tip of a much bigger iceberg.
WGTC: Most of the movie seems pretty grounded, but the ending seems to lend itself to more of a mysticism. Do you think the sequel will stay fully grounded or go full-on mysticism?
Leterrier: It’s funny you say that, because there’s nothing mystical about it. Everybody wants to see something mystic about it, but it’s just the flair. The light kicks on, it’s a practical light. We rotate the camera around it, there’s a flair, and they disappear behind. It’s just a disappearing act. We did it live, so the actors jump on and jump off in the center of the carousel so when it came back around they weren’t there anymore. But everybody tells me, ‘Oh it was mystical.’ But it’s not mystical, it’s just flair. I don’t know why people always think it is. It’s funny.
So to answer your question, no mysticism. But I think I should address it. Just have a moment where you hear you the clankiness and just have a moment where the door opens inside the carousel and they walk in. Underneath the carousel is where the lair or whatever, the entrance to the lab of this magician is. But no one got that. Everyone is like, ‘Ah it’s like Harry Potter.’ But no it’s not, just flair. It’s just practical flair, an in-camera effect. I like that people think it was mystical though. It’s not like there was a choir or something that made it mystical. What made you think it was mystical?
WGTC: The disappearing mostly. I saw that it could’ve been taken either way, but that part looked like real magic and most people I talked to thought it was more mystical, so I figured it had to be.
Leterrier: No, no it’s not. It’s very practical. Maybe it’s because we don’t explain it, but we don’t explain everything. I was very clear about not explaining everything. If you explain every magic trick it becomes boring. But I thought at this point people would get that. That’s good though. I’ll address it though. You’ll see the door open and you’ll see the flair at the beginning of the sequel.
That concludes our interview, but I’d like to thank Louis for taking the time to talk with us. Be sure to pick up Now You See Me on Blu-Ray when it releases on September 3rd!