20 Things You Didn't Know About The Prestige

Were you watching closely?

The Prestige poster Hugh Jackman Scarlett Johansson Christian Bale
Warner Bros. Pictures

There's something so incredibly alluring about illusions and trickery. Entertainers like Derren Brown, Penn and Teller and David Copperfield have been dominating TV screens for decades, and as audiences, we love that combined rush of awe and confusion that can only be brought on by a great bit of magic.

And perhaps no film in history has incited this feeling better than Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, based on the 1995 novel by Christopher Priest.

Released in 2006, the movie - which charts the dangerous rivalry between two 19th century stage magicians - remains one of Nolan's most sophisticated efforts to date, with its twisty, time-hopping narrative and seductive atmosphere making for one hell of a tasty cinematic treat that warrants more than a single serving.

Indeed, there's so much going on in The Prestige that you just have to watch it multiple times. Not because it doesn't make sense, but because you'll be rewarded with tons of satisfying "OMG I didn't notice that before!" moments each time you revisit it.

It's a big ol' mystery box of a movie, and contains a lot of secrets, stories, and nifty facts - both behind-the-scenes and on camera - that you may not know.

20. Christopher Priest Wanted Sam Mendes To Direct

The Prestige poster Hugh Jackman Scarlett Johansson Christian Bale
Joel Ryan/AP

Since The Prestige is based on a novel, there was naturally a lot of interest from other filmmakers and studios in adapting it for the big screen.

Author Christopher Priest also had his own ideas about who should transform his book into a movie, and his original choice for director, surprisingly, wasn't Nolan.

Priest actually wanted Sam Mendes - who most recently directed Bond outings Skyfall and Spectre, as well as Oscar frontrunner 1917 - to helm the film before Nolan came onboard. In the project's early days, Priest received directing offers from both Nolan and Mendes, and was going to select Mendes until Nolan changed his mind by sending him a copy of his first film, Following.

It's understandable that Priest initially wanted Mendes (the guy had just won numerous Academy Awards for American Beauty) but it's difficult to imagine anyone other than Nolan having made this particular film.

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Video editor and writer WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.