Steve Carell and David Copperfield in 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' (Photo: Warner Bros.)
What moviegoers may not know is the trick is performed for realsies in the movie.
And, oh yeah, it was designed by the world's highest-earning magician, er, illusionist himself: David Copperfield.
Yahoo! Movies recently interviewed "Wonderstone" cast members Carell, Jim Carrey, and Olivia Wilde in Las Vegas (see video below), and Carell offered some behind-the-scenes detail on the hangman trick. "We did it without any kind of special effects. So we really did it live, and that was exciting," the 50-year-old actor said.
During the Vegas visit, Copperfield met up with us off camera — at his secret warehouse of magic, which not only stores nearly every prop he has ever used in his acts and television specials, but also houses the world's largest collection of magic artifacts. It is a truly astounding stockpile representing nearly every last morsel of magician history. And it's not open for public viewing.
The 56-year-old walked a small group of press around his secret headquarters, through rows upon rows of storage shelves filled with what he says is 20 hours worth of his own tricks (many times more hours than what Houdini ever had, the savvy self-marketer pointed out). There's also movie props — some from films he has been involved with and others from movies he's admired, like "Citizen Kane."
David Copperfield performs a trick at his secret warehouse in Las Vegas (Photo: Yahoo! Movies/Meriah Doty)
Our famed guide pointed out one very old looking book sitting in a glass case -- that was made for Copperfield by the Smithsonian. It is believed to be the world's first published magic book, dating back to the 1500s.
Another room is devoted entirely to Houdini and houses his most recognizable escape act contraptions. (And no, they're not remakes. Copperfield has Houdini's actual gear). Room after room displayed artifacts from magic's past. There is even a ventriloquism room that houses Howdy Doody and Lamb Chop (Copperfield started out as a ventriloquist).
— Yahoo! Movies (@YahooMovies) March 1, 2013
During the intimate tour, Copperfield took questions. He admitted to Yahoo! Movies that the illusion he lost the most sleep over was his 1990 plunge over Niagara Falls.
When it came to discussing the "Wonderstone" hangman trick, Copperfield offered further explanation. He pointed out that if you pay close enough attention, you'll see it's performed in one single camera shot — designed to show film audiences the trick is, in fact, real.
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" is in theaters now.
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