Boasting a stellar roster of a cast, Now You See Me is wildly entertaining. Despite having several loose ends and unresolved plot points, the film creates an edge-of-the-seat experience with its crime-thriller undertones, commendable performances, and at times, its cheesy jokes. Although the first film received mixed reviews from critics, it was a huge financial success, grossing $ 350 million worldwide.
Considering the first film’s success, it comes as no surprise that it inspired a sequel. While the sequel was not as well-received as its predecessor, it still managed to earn $ 65 million domestically and $ 94 million in China (where its second act took place). Again, the film met mixed reactions, but fans were delighted to know that a third installment was underway. The rumors and fan theories below will get viewers all the more excited for the upcoming sequel.
Updated on June 13th, 2022 by George Chrysostomou: New details continue to emerge about a potential sequel to Now You See Me. While the future of the franchise is definitely unclear, there are plenty of rumors and fan theories to build upon that may continue to shed some light on the status of the Liongate’s popular series of magical heist films.
Theories About Now You See Me 3
The Horsemen Have Found The Eye
After working under the shadow of The Eye, it seems quite likely that The Horsemen will now finally work directly with them. Now You See Me 2 closes on an ambiguous note where The Horsemen walk down a flight of stairs.
Although the credits start rolling before anything else gets revealed, fans believe that this is the first time The Horsemen will directly come in contact with The Eye. This also suggests that The Horsemen will learn all about the secrets of The Eye and will work on even bigger heists and tricks.
The Horsemen Fake Their Deaths
After multiple viewings of the film, a Redditor noticed several patterns and parallels between the first and second movies. One of these patterns suggests that both have plot points where one character fakes his death. In the first film, Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) initially dies in a car crash. But this later turns out to be a red-herring – he was alive, working behind the scenes.
In the second film, even Daniel Radcliffe’s character fakes his death to manipulate events in his favor. So, as suggested by the Redditor, The Horsemen might pull off a similar fake death – or deaths – in the third installment as a part of one of their biggest magic tricks.
Dylan Rhodes Will Look For A Successor
Before bidding farewell to Dylan portrayed by Mark Ruffalo and The Horsemen in Now You See Me 2, Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman) asks Dylan to look for a successor. This scene comes in tandem with the initial subway scene where Daniel complains about Dylan’s leadership to The Eye, but The Eye consoles him by asking him to stay the course and trust his talents.
The evident parallels between the two scenes suggest that Daniel could be Dylan’s successor as the next leader of The Eye. This not only further cements Jesse Eisenberg’s return in the next film, but also opens more room for many potential follow-ups.
Lionel Shrike Isn’t Dead
Lionel Shrike (Dylan Rhodes’ father) may not have a primary role in the films, but he works more like an invisible hand who moves the entire plot forward. That’s what makes this theory plausible. Rhode’s backstory from Now You See Me 2 reveals that his father drowned during a magic act that involved escaping a safe submerged underwater.
A Redditor pointed out that Lionel’s body mysteriously disappeared after the incident, which raises the possibility of him being alive. Also, the safe in which he presumably drowns later turns out to be a creation of The Eye. All of this suggests that Lionel faked his death to teach his son the true essence of magic.
A Magic Trick Consists Of Three Parts
A fan further broke down the series’ three-part premise using a quote from Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige: “Every magic trick consists of three parts: the pledge, the turn, and the prestige.” The fan believes that the Now You See Me The trilogy follows a similar three-act structure, where each installment serves as a part of a grand magic trick.
The first film is the pledge, which shows viewers the ordinary. The second one is the turn, which creates the extraordinary out of the ordinary. And the third is the prestige, which completes the act “because making something disappear is not enough; you have to bring it back.”
The First Two Movies Were Tests For The Horsemen
Another Redditor speculated that Lionel Shrike faked his death because The Eye asked him to. The Eye, apparently, adopts a rigorous process to enroll new magicians and keeps testing their loyalty before letting them in.
The secret society compels Lionel to fake his death so that in the long run, his son can withstand decades of grief, prove his worth through extensive labor, and finally join them. This also suggests that even the other Horsemen were being tested by The Eye throughout the span of the first two films, so that they, too, could join The Eye.
It’s Been Canceled
Despite all the fan theories that are continuing to be developed, the lack of actual concrete details on a third film is somewhat thin on the ground. It’s quite shocking that in the years since the release of the second installment, there still appears to be no genuine Now You See Me sequel on the horizon.
It’s led some to believe that there won’t actually ever be another film at all. Perhaps the project has genuinely been canceled, with fans slowly falling off from even commenting on the concept, simply because it seems less and less likely. Has Lionsgate closed the door on the magic?
Rumors About Now You See Me 3
Benedict Cumberbatch Is The New Villain
Before the release of Now You See Me 2 in 2016, its sequel was confirmed. Along with that, Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was set to be at its helm, with Benedict Cumberbatch joining its star-studded cast.
Presumably the antagonist, Benedict Cumberbatch seems like the perfect character for the movie, considering his role as MCU’s renowned sorcerer, Doctor Strange. However, Lionsgate has revealed no other news regarding his involvement in the years since the initial announcement.
Main Cast Members Will Reprise Their Roles
The glamorous cast of the Now You See Me movie series is one of its core appeals. That’s part of the reason why it seems very likely that most main cast members will return for the sequel.
The film’s primary cast is still under wraps. However, in a recent interview, Jesse Eisenberg did show interest in reprising his role as Daniel Atlas. Adding to this, even Lionsgate confirmed that the film’s scriptwriter, Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) is “introducing new characters into the world while also creating opportunities for the original cast to reprise their roles.”
A Soft Reboot
With the notion that the project might be moving forward with a new protagonist, there is also the question of whether the original cast can actually return even if it seems likely they will. Of course, they may want to, but it’s being rumored that the massive task of reuniting the group is more difficult than may first appear.
The actors involved with the franchise are perhaps busier than ever and their stock has surely risen even more since their last appearance. If there were to be another movie, then it is plausible that the cast is replaced in a soft reboot focusing on a different sect of this exclusive group, to keep down both the schedule and the budget.
A Change In Stunts
There are nods to the fact that there is sure to be a new direction for the project with Jesse Eisenberg himself stating any sequel would be quite different in tone compared to what fans have seen from the first two. This rumor would indicate that the team is planning something big.
Big heists have been the calling card of the series so far, with the team usually working their way up to one final huge heist. However, perhaps the difference here is that it’s structured quite uniquely, to allow for plenty of smaller stunts rather than the groundbreaking final move they’ve become known for.
Now You See Me 3 Will Premiere After 2021
In an interview in March 2020, Jesse Eisenberg revealed what he knows about the film’s production so far. He said, “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.”
Jesse Eisenberg is among the primary protagonists of the films, and since he has not been approached for the role yet, it seems very unlikely that the movie will be released anytime soon. Moreover, Jon Chu is no longer attached to the project, so it looks like fans of the series will have to wait a bit longer for the new movie’s release.
An Update On Release
There are so many highly anticipated and potentially Oscar-worthy productions releasing in 2022, but a new Now You See Me film definitely is not amongst them. Ignoring what the cast has said, there are persistent rumors that 2023 is the only likely release date for the film.
What’s more important though is that it seems any production would actually be brought out via the traditional theater release method, rather than via streaming. That may be what’s continuing to delay any release date news, but should be a good sign for cinema lovers.
A Now You See Me Chinese Spin-Off Is In The Works
Reportedly, Lionsgate was also working on a Now You See Me Chinese spin-off starring Jay Chou, who plays Li in the second movie.
The plot and casting details of the spin-off are yet to be revealed, and unfortunately, the studio has been quiet about it since 2016. Due to this, unlike Now You See Me 3it’s unknown if it’s still happening.
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