WMG / Now You See Me

They are actually the four horsemen of the apocalypse
This is just from seeing the trailer but... Morgan Freeman is god from the Bruce Almighty movies and feels it's time to unleash some rapture.
  • Jesse Eisenberg is Pestilence
  • Woody Harrelson is War
  • And the other two are Famine and Death.
  • Hopefully this will be a darker more edgy turn, in this series of movies.

"The Eye" is a labyrinth sponsored by the Guardians of the Veil

The tarot card symbolism and elaborate, needlessly complex tricks were to help kick start the magician's Awakenings. The Horsemen were chosen because they had skills that the order wanted in agents and the entire plot is to hopefully push them to awaken. Dylan just wanted to get some revenge on the side, but the targets could have been anyone. In addition, the public magic acts help enforce the idea that magic is just an illusion, protecting "true" magic from the masses.

There never was any "true magic"

Or "The Eye" for that matter. The ending? Well, five can keep a secret...

If four are dead.
  • A sequel is in the works and the original cast members are set to return.

The sequel will feature a rogue member of The Eye
The 5 Horsemen will be tasked with tracking them down, using a combination of real magic and their regular skills. The rogue member will be revealed to be the groupie from the beginning of Now You See Me and she will deliver the Wham Line of "I thought you said you'd call me" to Atlas.

Merritt learned how to read people from Psych
  • His greatest achievement was hypnotizing the actors on the show.

True magic isn't real, but the Eye is.
  • The eye is a society of trustworthy magicians (going back as far as the legend says, or almost as far) that teach each other their secrets. New members are chosen due to having some amazing skill that the members want. In exchange, the members teach their skills to the new members, overall bettering the Eye as well as "magic". Merritt has skills that already seem supernatural, going beyond even Hollywood hypnosis. It stands to reason that there are others out there that have a similar level of skill in their art without "real magic".

Merritt actually does know Atlas from earlier
  • Though this was a throwaway gag related to "Zombieland", the way they interact suggests this, probably from numerous magic conventions (Blackpool, FISM, Magifest, TAOM, etc.). More likely than not, they went their own ways pretty much hating each other.

There is an important reason that Henley was replaced by Lula
  • Imagine this: what if the reason Henley is not in "Now You See Me 2" is that she was switched out and kept in some Eye safehouse for some hidden backup plan? That would also imply Lula is a plant/intern from the Eye, possibly inserted into the group to watch and train them when Dylan's not around.

With the release of NYSM 2, we might have a better idea why Lionel Shrike's body was never found
  • For all intents and purposes, Eye agents probably retrieved the safe and the body inside and buried Shrike in an unmarked grave. Though this unintentionally comes to make Dylan's life a bit harder, perhaps they anticipated that Tressler Insurance would deny the payout and the ramifications thereof, because (1) that would render Dylan dependent upon the Eye, grooming him into his role as Lionel's successor, and (2) to give him a reason to take down Tressler for them.

Perhaps the Eye has men in the NSA, men who have access to the PRISM program and probably other, even more secret software
  • Perhaps they also wanted their hands on Case's software from the second movie for their own benefit, hence their sending out the Horsemen to steal it.

The first two films are all part of an elaborate plan for Shrike to recruit Walter Mabry.
Firstly, I'm convinced Shrike is alive. We've now seen Dylan escape from a prototype safe, so it seems like an obvious twist for the next movie. He's one level further up in The Eye.

Don't get me wrong, he wants all the Horsemen together. However, with someone of Walter's technical genius they'd be truly unstoppable. However, he knew that Water would need to have the mother of all Heel Face Turns to be viable as a Horseman. So, the ultimate goal of NYSM 2 was actually to get Tresler to reject his son, which leaves Walter vulnerable and open to manipulation.

The theme of a third movie will be something to the effect of "a trick that's so amazing, you don't even care if you know how it's done." This will tie into Walter realizing how he's been manipulated into joining the Horsemen...but ultimately not caring.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WMG/NowYouSeeMe