2006 is the resurgence of Edward Norton! If you don’t count his part in Kingdom of Heaven (which was like a cameo in the 2005 version anyway), Norton’s immense talent hasn’t been on our screens since 2003. Earlier this year he was in Down in the Valley, a movie that sits on my current top ten of the year list, and later this year he’ll be in The Painted Veil, based on the Maugham novel.
In August Big Ed will be playing the title role in The Illusionist, a movie I just happen to have seen this afternoon, and whose trailer showed up on the web today. Norton plays Eisenheim, a masterful stage magician who becomes the talk of 19th century Vienna with his innovative show. Jessica Biel is his childhood sweetheart who is now engaged to Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell in a dynamic role), a real creep. And Paul Giamatti is Chief Inspector Uhl, who is an admirer of Eisenheim but also an operative of the creepy Prince.
I won’t spill much except to say that this is really Giamatti and Sewell’s movie, and I wish that Norton had a little more to do. You can make up your mind in August and get your pre-judging muscles flexing now by clicking here to see the trailer in some shitty AOL format.