Exclusive: Jesse Eisenberg discusses Now You See Me character, sequel plans!
It’s been nearly four years since audiences last saw the heist thriller franchise Now You See Me on the big screen with the 2016 sequel and despite various repots that year about development on a third installment, no word has since been announced its progress. ComingSoon.net got the chance to chat with series star Jesse Eisenberg (Resistance) to discuss possibilities of a sequel and the development of his character across both films.
While discussing his latest films Resistance and Vivarium, we asked Eisenberg if he had heard word about any movement on the long-awaited third installment in the heist series, and much to fans’ dismay, the 36-year-old actor confirmed neither he nor his fellow members have heard anything just yet.
“I hear occasionally from my friends, the other actors in the movies, that ‘Oh, I’ve heard something’ and I go ‘Oh really? What’d you hear?’, but all we’ve got is ‘Oh, I hear they’re still working on it,'” Eisenberg revealed. “I’ve heard nothing, I wonder what the statute of limitations on that kind of stuff is, because maybe if enough time passes, there might be a decreasing level of interest in it.”
The actor, who portrays the ostensible leader and somewhat arrogant illusionist J. Daniel Atlas, did assure that he’d happily return to the series if further development were to get underway on a third installment, describing them as “fun movies to make” and saying he and his co-stars all “loved” working on them both.
“I just love my character, I got to help create my character,” Eisenberg discussed. “For the first movie, there was a kind of blueprint of the character, so I said I kind of want to play this brilliant but arrogant magician, because it’s such a fun thing to do. As somebody who’s more of a timid performer, to be able to play such a brash performer was like the best thing, psychologically, for me to do.”
The franchise, which began with 2013’s Now You See Me, follows a group of magicians and illusionists named The Four Horseman as they travel the globe pulling off bank robberies and heists during their shows to enact justice on those using their money for improper means. The debut featured an ensemble cast of Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson (Zombieland: Double Tap), Isla Fisher (Arrested Development), Dave Franco (6 Underground), Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame), Michael Caine (Tenet) and Morgan Freeman (Angel Has Fallen), and was a box office hit, grossing over $351 million worldwide on a $75 million budget.
Now You See Me 2, which hit theaters in 2016, saw the group forced to go on the run after being exposed by criminal mastermind Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe, Escape From Pretoria) and help him pull off a job stealing a valuable data chip. The sequel swapped out Fisher for Caplan, as the former was pregnant when production was set to begin, and was a similar success at the box office, grossing over $334 million on a $90 million budget.
Reports of a third installment began ahead of the sequel’s release, with Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stating that early planning was underway and reports stating Caplan and Fisher were both in talks to reprise their roles while Benedict Cumberbatch (Avengers: Endgame) was in talks for an unknown, presumably antagonistic, role. It was also reported that Jon M. Chu (In the Heights) had signed on to helm a threequel after directing the second film, but no news has been revealed in the years since.
Eisenberg can next be seen in the upcoming war biopic Resistance, in which he stars as French Jewish Resistance fighter and iconic mime Marcel Marceau, which will hit select theaters and digital platforms on March 27, and the sci-fi thriller Vivarium, in which he reunites with The Art of Self-Defense co-star Imogen Poots and is set to hit select theaters and digital platforms on March 27.