Nolan's magical, mystery tour

The Bat-helmer on The Prestige and using every trick in the book

Anyone who’s read Christopher Priest’s page-turner The Prestige will no doubt have watched the trailer for the upcoming flick and scratched their heads.

Helmer Christopher Nolan has taken the book and given it a twist, clearly recognising it’s not the sort of material you can simply tear from the page and slap on screen.

“It’s a pretty loose adaptation,” Nolan tells IESB.net. “I haven’t read the book in a long time but my opinion of the book is that is was a tremendous, exciting book with many, many ideas; many more than you could get into a screenplay.”

Nolan’s tale is of two turn-of-the-century magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman), who start out as friends but wind up as rivals – doing anything and everything to stop the other being the better illusionist. Nolan was intent on harnessing the dark, eerie feeling from the book and is pleased with the outcome.

“All of the main elements of the film come from the book but it’s a very large book, there’s a lot going on, so we had to throw away a lot of different ideas, a lot of different possibilities from the book in order to make it work as a film so in that sense it’s a pretty free adaptation, pretty loose, but I like to think that it captures the essence of what the book was about.”

Nolan used The Prestige as a chance to team up with his fellow Bat-buddies, Michael Caine and Christian Bale.

“We were originally going to make this film before we did Batman with a different cast; we were very close to making it. Christian actually just sort of called me up out of the blue about it, I am not even sure quite how he got the script, but he called me up and said would I be interested in him to play the part. It feels like it was written for him but the funny thing was that it really wasn’t it was written before I ever met him or knew we were going to cast him for Batman - it just fits him like a glove.”

Find out for yourself when The Prestige appears in cinemas on 10 November.