LAS VEGAS, Nev. — What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, no matter what the players say.
Take, for example, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” a comedy about the glitzy world of professional magicians that was filmed on location in Sin City and will magically materialize Friday on movie screens nationwide.
Steve Carell, who stars in the title role of a long-established illusionist with an overblown ego, and Jim Carrey, who plays a guerrilla street performer out to steal the conventional conjurer's thunder, both agree the “playground to the world” can work some dazzling magic of its own on actors.
“Yeah, it was very informational to be shooting here,” Carell said during a recent press conference hosted by Warner Bros. at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. “It does inform the characters a lot, because there is obviously a different vibe in Las Vegas. And at one point, or several times during the weeks we were here, I walked around in full hair (long, coifed tresses) and makeup and costume (glittering lame jackets), through casinos, and no one batted an eye. Which led us to believe we were on the right track with the character development, because on the poster it looks absolutely ridiculous, but it's not that ridiculous in the context of Las Vegas.”
The film, directed by Don Scardino (TV's “30 Rock”) from a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (“Horrible Bosses”) — with superstar magician David Copperfield serving as technical consultant — also stars Steve Buscemi as Anton Marvelton, Burt's partner in magic and best friend since they were kids. They have a “lovely assistant” named Jane (Olivia Wilde), and The Incredible Burt and Anton even have their own namesake theater on The Strip.
But due to jealousy and Burt's ever-swelling head, they've come to loathe each other in recent years, and their act has suffered for it. With attendance dropping, while extreme street trickster Steve Gray (Carrey) is grabbing all the publicity with his outrageous physical stunts, Burt and Anton, desperate to revive their appeal, come up with an ambitious and dangerous trick called The Hot Box.