Trivia / The Illusionist

The Illusionist (the 2006 live-action film)

  • Actor Allusion: To Jacques Tati himself: The Illusionist's name is Tatischeff (Tati's full last name), and at a later part in the movie, Tatischeff stumbles into a cinema showcasing Mon Oncle. Tatischeff's body movements are incredibly reminiscent of Tati's in his roles as M. Hulot.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Neil Burger is the man projected on the screen for the demonstration of how Eisenheim could have pulled off his trick.
  • Dueling Works: With The Prestige, another period drama about 19th Century magicians. Both had Ricky Jay as a consultant too.
  • Fake Nationality: Americans Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel and British Rufus Sewell are all playing Austrian characters.
  • The Other Marty: Liv Tyler was cast as Sophie originally, but dropped out right before filming began. She would later star with Edward Norton in Hulk.
  • Playing Against Type: Heavily for Jessica Biel, who found herself typecast as a Ms. Fanservice or Action Girl. She drove to the audition in full costume and lobbied really hard for the role. Despite her performance being well-received, it didn't launch her onto anything major afterwards.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The lanterns Eisenheim tells his assistants to leave behind when they're packing up his workshop resemble fantascopes - a common device used to illuminate real people offstage.
    • When Sophie comes onstage, she only uses one hand to lift the hem of her skirt. In 19th Century custom, a lady used one hand to lift her hem and only prostitutes used two hands.
  • What Could Have Been: This was originally going to be in 3-D.

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