It was on this day in 2005 that Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Jessica Biel and writer-director Neil Burger met on set to begin shooting their independent feature The Illusionist. Set in Vienna in the early 20th century, Burger adapted his second feature from the short story “Eisenheim the Illusionist.” The story revolves around the son of a cabinet maker (Norton), his upper-class childhood love (Biel), the men who benefit from the separation of the lovebirds (Giamatti and Sewell) and the magic that interferes. The Illusionist went in to limited release in August 2006 and widened its popularity by the following month. Burger received a Best Screenplay nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards and cinematographer Dick Pope was honored with an Academy Award nomination for his camera work.
Connections: Actor Paul Giamatti will once again star alongside Rufus Sewell in the television miniseries “John Adams,” scheduled for a 2008 release. The story will follow Giamatti as the title character who sees the United States grow from a British colony to an independent nation. Sewell will play fellow founding father Alexander Hamilton. The impressive supporting cast also includes Laura Linney, Justin Theroux, Tom Wilkinson and David Morse.