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WMG / The Prestige

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Borden is Bruce Wayne's ancestor.
The Prestige and the Dark Knight trilogy are both Christopher Nolan films, and both of these gentlemen happen to be played by Christian Bale. Extra points for Cutter being played by Michael Caine, who plays Alfred in the Dark Knight trilogy.

Lord Caldlow survived.
Or at least another Angier did. The two tricks that had much focus in the film, apart from the transporting man, were the catch-the-bullet trick and escaping from a tank of water. Considering that earlier in the film, Angier said "every night, I stood in that box, wondering if I would be the one on the stage, or under it", might it be possible that perhaps one night, even offstage or before the occurrences, he simply got... careless
Explanation of how this could work: Angier has the key on him when he's duplicated. The original thinks of it when he's in the box and gets out, then the blind stagehands move out the only slightly less heavy box. The prestige doesn't bother checking, either because it makes him feel guilty or he's so desensitized after twenty or so nights that he gets bored and doesn't bother checking, and intentionally (at least from his subconscious) brushes off thinking too much about the key.
  • The tank was locked from the outside.
    • It's still possible that one night Angier forgot to lock it. It only had to happen once out of a hundred-show run.
    • It's a trick tank; they show you the panel. The only difference is that a pick-guarded padlock is used instead of the show padlock.
  • Alternatively and relating to the below as well, Perhaps after killing the first clone, Angier realized that because of the risks, he should have a double, so he kept one, and just one, alive. And when Borden/Fallon killed Angier, that last Angier just... let it go, because he was done.
    • Though if he was willing to trust a double, one wonders why they didn't simply perform the trick as Borden did using duplicates instead of twins.
    • Because, as Angier explains in his "World of Cardboard" Speech, the whole reason he performs is to see the audience's moment of wonder at prestige. The reason he could never work with a double (and the reason he ended up cloning at all) is because he wouldn't be able to see it. Both clones would have this motivation, so neither would be willing to do what the Bordens do and take it in turns.
    • But there is a clone that didn't die, the one that was created when Angier first demonstrated the machine in order to get the booking. After all, at the time he still didn't have the drop tank, meaning that at the end of the story there is still one Angier and one Borden...
      • Angier shot that one. It was why they made such a thing of him putting a pistol next to the machine.
      • Angier shot the clone he created when he first tested out the trick, but there's no indication that he killed the clone he made when he demonstrated the trick to get the booking for his final run of shows. He could easily have killed him one way or another, though.
      • If I recall correctly, when Angier first demonstrated the trick, he had blind stagehands, and the Angier in the machine (non-prestige one) dropped under the stage (or at least disappeared). Odds are, he did have the drowning set up already.
  • All of the above doesn't preclude the possibility that, offscreen, Angier may have made a backup with instructions to take over if things go south (as they did).
    • It's a possibility, but the whole point of having him shoot the first one is that he doesn't trust himself, and there's no indication in the film that that ever changes.

Owens (Lord Caldlow's manservant) is Angier.
Look at how Owens looks. Look at how Angier looks. Now think back to the first replication scene where both Angiers go for the gun. Let's say that the original got the gun and got older, or even just used stage makeup. Angier might have anticipated Fallon's response to his twin's imprisonment and used an older looking clone to act as a failsafe in the event of any retaliation by Fallon.

Nicola Tesla is a Technocrat and a Magnificent Bastard
He planned the entire thing out to get rid of two pesky reality deviants.
  • Nah, Tesla is a Son of Ether, Edison is a Technocrat (Syndicate).

Both the movie and novel take place in Assassin's Creed.
Tesla made the cloning machine based on what he learned from the POE he had for a while.

Borden or Fallon is a clone of the other
What if Borden wasn't lying when he told Angier that the secret was in Tesla? It's possible that Borden had gone to Tesla to get his help, but when he realized that Tesla's machine made a copy of himself, he understood that he didn't need to transport himself, he had the perfect doppelgänger, and could do a brilliant magic trick anyways.
  • Then why do their personalities differ so greatly? And Borden is not exactly wealthy. It's ridiculous to think that he would blow all his money to go to America, finance Tesla for a one-time-use machine, then leave it to collect dust somewhere while he and his clone scrape to get by.
  • The thought of "not being the real one" started to slowly drive Cloned!Borden insane. You know right away you're the copy due to you being outside the machine and seeing the other you inside. Had he not been hanged, we could expect him to become a full-fledged psychotic with age. No wonder Tesla considers his creation an evil thing.
  • Tesla also never denied making a machine for Borden, he could have made a machine and Borden could have found out how it worked without Tesla knowing, explaining why Tesla and his assistant didn't know exactly how the machine functioned.
  • It took me looking this page's history to make sure that I hadn't made this entry. I'm convinced this is true. It also adds new subtext to Borden's line:
    He came in to demand an answer and I told him the truth. That I have fought with myself over that night, one half of me swearing blind that I tied a simple slipknot, the other half convinced that I tied the Langford double. I can never know for sure.
    • Wow, this may be the best WMG entry ever.
Borden's wife knew about the twin
Sarah told Olivia she needed to share something about Borden before killing herself, but Olivia never met with her to learn what it was. Sarah had deduced she was living with two men (which wouldn't be too hard, if she paid attention to small clues), and she wanted to let Olivia in on the secret before it tore her apart, too. Sarah hung herself not because her marraige had fallen apart, or because her husband had a mistress, but because she realized the man she loved had been playing an extremely cruel trick on her, with no end in sight.
  • In one of Sarah's last scenes with Borden, she yells, "I know what you are!"
  • One of Sarah's lines mentioned that she "knows" when Borden means it when he says he loves her. One twin really does love her and the other loves Olivia. Even one of the scenes with Olivia and Borden shows Borden indifferent when Olivia wants affection. He'd much rather be with his wife but he's on the wrong "shift".

All of the futuristic tech in Christopher Nolan's movies is derived from Tesla's inventions
All of Nolan's films take place in a shared universe where Nikola Tesla's wilder inventions, which the public never found out about in our world, actually took off and became commonplace, pushing human technology about half a century forward. Memory foam-based glider wings? Tesla gave us that. Cell phone-based sonar capable of scanning an entire city? Tesla again. Hovercrafts? Tesla. Dream-sharing technology? Oh, yeah. Tesla's fingerprints are all over that. This is why all of Nolan's movies take place in a version of the 21st century that seems identical to our world, except for a handful of technological advances (just like The Prestige's Victorian England is identical to ours, but with cloning devices). Presumably, stage magic was also far more popular in this world than in ours, which is why people don't find the idea of a crime-fighting vigilante in a bat costume that strange.

"Freddy" could have escaped jail at any time.
The bit where he swaps chains with the jailer teasing him is proof that his escape skills were still second-to-none. But he chose to stick around rather than put his brother and niece/daughter(?) in further danger.
  • It is by using misdirection, and no one was taking him seriously then. Being surrounded by people from all sides watching your every move is very different from being watched on stage.

The Borden who loved Olivia killed Sarah.
He was ruthless enough, and cared enough about his magic. One of her last lines were, "I know what you are" and he didn't want the secret to be revealed. He was also willing to kill animals and maim innocent lady's fingers throughout the film.

The film depicts the turn of the 20th century in the Star Trek universe
Tesla's tech will be unearthed and put to use centuries later as teleporters with much less messy original-person-murder, and also as food replicators. It's much more reliable now but sometimes things still go wrong.
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