Illusions gave Now You See Me 2 director sleepless nights

Now You See Me 2 director Jon M. Chu claims newcomer Lizzy Caplan really shines in the upcoming film, describing her as "fearless".

Construction illusions in Now You See Me 2 gave director Jon M. Chu countless headaches.

The Step Up 2: The Streets director is now helming another studio franchise, making the follow-up to the 2013 surprise hit about a group of magicians known as The Four Horsemen. The new film sees Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo and Dave Franco reprise their roles, with Lizzy Caplan replacing Isla Fisher in the gang, who dropped out of the sequel due to her pregnancy.

Speaking about the production of the caper thriller, Jon explains that he encountered many difficulties in crafting clever illusions which would look good on the silver screen without giving away too much to the audience.

"That gave me a lot of sleepless nights," he told Collider. "Especially because you have this architecture to your movie, and I’m not used to movies with very specific architecture. This one’s like, almost mathematical what you need to show, pay off, not show, review, all these things."

Jon wanted to use as much "practical magic" in the film as possible, instead of relying on computer-generated imagery, and one scene in which Lizzy's character Lula performs a spectacular illusion took around six weeks of planning.

He adds that such scenes were costly and time consuming, particularly in regards to the camera crew, but in the end it was worthwhile.

"All those elements cost us much more money to do, but also was a promise that we made ourselves from the beginning of this movie, that it wasn’t going to be hocus pocus magic," he said.

Now You See Me 2 hits U.S. theatres on Friday (10Jun16) and is released in the U.K. on 4 July (16).

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