On July 14th director Jon Turteltaub’s latest film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will enter theaters with a heavy weight on its shoulders and no we’re not talking about its competition — Inception. Apprentice is based on one of the most memorable sequences from the Disney animated classic Fantasia, which starred Mickey Mouse, mops, brooms and a whole lot of soap and water. During the recent Los Angeles press day for the film, Turteltaub talked about bringing magic back to modern audiences, casting his sorcerers, and the one power he’d love to have more than anything in the world!
Magic today is a lot different than what it was 50, 60, and definitely 100 years ago. Audiences have become hooked on gimmicks and are desensitized to real mysticism and wonder. When taking on such a relaxed and almost satirical subject Turteltaub knew he had to incorporate the good and the bad elements of today’s magicians.
Jon Turteltaub: We wanted to mock what magic has become in our day and age. When this movie takes on magic it has a spiritual element and it’s considered very important and of value. But magicians have always been a little bit silly. If you’re going to portray a modern day magician there’s got to be a little silliness [I would say] to it. Even with a counter magician like David Blaine, it can get silly after a while.
That silly factor gets played up very well by British actor Toby Kebbell who portrays a Criss Angel type who’s more celebrity than substance. On the other hand, there’s Nicolas Cage as Balthazar, an old and good hearted sorcerer whom Turtletaub cast in the film because of his ability to play several aspects of the character.
JT: Nic has an intensity. There’s something very strong and masculine about Nic that you feel when you’re around him. It was really important that this sorcerer be daunting and an intimidating figure. We always feel safest I think around the dangerous person who’s on your side more than the nice good person who’s on your side. Nic really was able to bring all that without losing that sensitivity and the heart and a sense of goodness because that’s Nic.
Since there’s so much make-believe that can be taken from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, we wondered what power Turteltaub would love to have if he was given the choice. His answer shouldn’t surprise you…
JT: I’d see through ladies’ clothes.
At least he’s honest!
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice hits theaters on July 14th.
Are you interested in seeing the film?