Enter the world of magic and deceit, where obsession can drive you to deadly extremes.
In the world of magic, there are no limits. It’s a world of wonder and amazement, where anything is possible – or so they say. But behind the glittering curtains and the spectacular illusions lies a darker world, one of rivalry, obsession, and deceit. In this world, two magicians would go to lengths that defy reason, all in the name of supremacy.
Meet Robert Angier and Alfred Borden. Both began their careers in the same theater in London, but their paths diverged when tragedy struck. During a dangerous trick, Angier’s wife fell to her death, leaving him with a need for revenge. He blamed Borden, his former friend and colleague, but Borden swore he had nothing to do with it.
Years later, both men are successful in their own right. But their rivalry never faded, and in fact, it only intensified. They would stop at nothing to outdo each other, and their obsessions would lead them down a path of destruction that no one could have predicted.
This is their story – a tale of two magicians, their intense rivalry, and the dangerous and deadly consequences of their obsession.
Chapter 1: The Great Disappearance
It was one of the most anticipated shows of the season, and the theater was packed. Robert Angier had promised a surprise, something that no one had ever seen before. The audience sat in breathless anticipation as Angier took center stage and introduced his assistant, Julia.
“Tonight, I will perform the greatest disappearing act of all time,” Angier announced. “My assistant, Julia, will vanish before your very eyes, and then, just as magically, she will reappear.”
The audience erupted into applause, and Angier smiled, his eyes alight with excitement. He knew that this trick was risky, but he was confident that he could pull it off. He had spent months perfecting it, and he had spared no expense.
The trick began smoothly. Angier placed Julia into a large wooden box and secured it with thick chains. He then proceeded to saw the box in half, just as he had done many times before. But this time, something went wrong.
As soon as the two halves of the box fell apart, a piercing scream erupted from the audience. They had expected to see Julia emerge unscathed, but instead, they saw her lifeless body lying on the stage. Angier was nowhere to be found.
The theater erupted into chaos as the audience members scrambled to their feet and rushed towards the stage. There were screams, shouts, and a flurry of movement as people tried to make sense of what they had just witnessed.
Some tried to help Julia, but it was too late. She was gone, and the only thing left was a pool of blood on the stage. Others searched for Angier, but he had vanished without a trace.
The police arrived soon after, and the theater was swarmed with officers. They questioned everyone, but no one had any answers. It seemed as though Angier had disappeared into thin air.
Days turned into weeks, and then into months, but there was still no sign of Angier. The mystery of his disappearance only added to the intrigue surrounding the incident. Some speculated that he had faked his death and had fled the country, while others believed that he had been kidnapped or murdered.
Whatever the truth may have been, one thing was clear – the world of magic would never be the same again. The tragedy had left a mark on everyone who had witnessed it, and it had set the stage for the rivalry that would come to define both Robert Angier and Alfred Borden.
Chapter 2: The Obsession Begins
Robert Angier’s obsession with discovering Alfred Borden’s secret was all-consuming. He could not sleep, he could not eat, he could not focus on anything else. The memory of his wife’s death haunted him, and he blamed Borden for it. He swore he would have his revenge, no matter what the cost.
Years passed, and both Angier and Borden became famous magicians with their own shows. But Angier remained fixated on destroying Borden’s career. He would attend Borden’s shows, always looking for clues, always searching for a mistake. But Borden never faltered. He was the greatest magician of his time, and Angier could not stand it.
One night, Angier was walking the streets of London when he heard about a scientist named Nikola Tesla. Tesla was said to be a genius inventor, capable of creating things no one had ever imagined. Angier knew he needed Tesla’s help to defeat Borden. He sought the inventor out and explained his predicament.
Tesla was intrigued by the idea of creating a device that could replicate a magic trick. He agreed to help Angier, but warned him that it would be dangerous. He said the machine would require a huge amount of energy, and that it would be difficult to control. Angier did not care. He was willing to do whatever it took to beat Borden.
Over the next months, Tesla worked tirelessly on the device. Angier visited him often, checking on his progress. Tesla was not the most sociable person, and he often seemed distracted. But Angier did not mind. He was getting what he wanted – a machine that could duplicate a person.
Finally, the machine was ready. Angier was exhilarated. He knew he was about to change the course of his rivalry with Borden. He set up a test with his assistant, Olivia.
The machine worked perfectly. Olivia stepped into the machine on one side and instantly appeared on the other. Angier was ecstatic. He knew this would be his greatest trick yet.
But his elation was short-lived. Olivia collapsed on the stage, dead. Angier was horrified. He had not expected this. He went to Tesla and demanded an explanation.
Tesla explained that the machine worked by duplicating a person, but the original still existed. The machine had not transported Olivia from one side to the other – it had created a copy of her, leaving the original to die. Tesla had warned Angier that the machine was dangerous, but Angier had not listened. Now, he was faced with the consequences.
Angier was devastated. Olivia had been his confidant, his friend, and he had used her in his quest for revenge. He realized now that he had gone too far. But he could not turn back. He was in too deep.
He buried Olivia and continued to work on the machine. He knew that with a few adjustments, it could be perfect. It could be his ticket to defeating Borden once and for all.
But the machine continued to take its toll. Each time Angier performed the trick, another assistant died. He became haunted by their deaths, but he could not stop. He had to beat Borden.
Angier’s obsession with the machine and his rivalry with Borden led him down a dark path. He became more and more distant from the people around him. He pushed away his friends and his lovers. He was consumed by his own ambition.
As the years passed, Angier’s shows became more spectacular, more dangerous. He was known as “The Great Danton,” the man who could perform impossible feats. But Angier knew the truth – his greatest feat was also his greatest tragedy. The machine that had once promised to make him a legend had become his curse.
In the end, Angier’s obsession with defeating Borden would lead him to his own destruction. But he could not see that. He was blinded by his own ambition, and he would pay the ultimate price for it.
Chapter 3: The Secret Revealed
Months passed since Angier approached Nikola Tesla to build a machine that could replicate Borden’s Transported Man trick. The machine, which Tesla describes as “nothing less than a miracle,” is finally complete. Angier is ecstatic. He has finally achieved what he thought was impossible.
The day of the big reveal arrives. The theater is packed, with people coming from all over London to see Angier’s new trick. The stage is set, and the machine is ready to go. Angier steps into the machine, which is surrounded by a massive metal cage. He looks nervous but determined.
Angier flicks a switch, and the machine starts to hum. The air around him begins to shimmer, and he feels a strange sensation in his gut. The audience gasps as they watch him disappear.
A few moments later, a trapdoor in the stage opens, and Angier steps out holding a dove. The audience erupts into applause. Angier takes a bow, but he’s not satisfied. He knows he can do better. He doesn’t just want to replicate Borden’s trick; he wants to surpass it.
Over the next few weeks, Angier performs his new trick every night. Each time, it’s slightly different. One night, he appears from the other side of the stage. Another night, he disappears and reappears in the balcony. The audience is mesmerized, and the reviews are glowing.
But there is a cost to Angier’s new trick. Each time he performs it, one of his assistants disappears. At first, he thought it was a fluke, but every time he uses the machine, someone disappears.
Angier is haunted by the cost of his ambition. He can’t bring himself to tell anyone, not even Tesla. He buries his guilt deep down and continues to perform the trick night after night.
Meanwhile, Borden is getting restless. He knows Angier has something up his sleeve, but he can’t figure out what. He hires a private investigator to follow Angier, but he comes up empty-handed. Angier is too careful, too smart.
One day, Borden is walking through London when he sees a familiar face. It’s Sarah, his former assistant and lover. She’s with a strange man who looks vaguely familiar. Borden approaches them, and Sarah introduces the man as Frederick, her new lover.
Something about Frederick sets off alarm bells in Borden’s head. He doesn’t trust him. He decides to follow him, and he soon realizes why. Frederick is working for Angier. He’s one of his assistants.
Borden is furious. He confronts Frederick, but the man is tight-lipped. Borden knows he needs to find out more. He begins to follow Frederick everywhere he goes.
A few days later, Frederick disappears. Borden realizes he must have been one of the ones who went into Angier’s machine. He’s furious but also relieved. He finally has a clue to Angier’s secret.
Borden decides to act fast. He knows he needs to get close to Angier himself. He approaches him at a party and offers to work together. Angier is skeptical, but Borden is persuasive. He convinces Angier to let him be his new assistant.
At first, Angier is wary of Borden. He knows he’s a talented magician, but he also knows he’s the one who caused his wife’s death. But Borden is a good assistant. He’s reliable, hardworking, and never asks questions.
Angier begins to trust Borden. He even confides in him about the cost of his new trick. Borden is shocked but also intrigued. He realizes that Angier’s machine is not just a magic trick. It’s something much more profound.
One day, Borden is fixing the wiring in the back of the theater when he sees something strange. He realizes that Angier’s machine is not a teleportation device at all. It’s a cloning machine. Each time Angier uses it, he creates a copy of himself and kills the original.
Borden is horrified. He realizes that Angier has been killing himself night after night, all for the sake of a magic trick. He confronts Angier, but the man is too far gone. He’s obsessed with his trick, and he’ll do anything to keep it going.
In the end, Borden realizes that he has no choice. He sets out to sabotage Angier’s machine, hoping to end the madness once and for all. But he knows it won’t be easy. Angier is a talented magician, and he’s not afraid to play dirty. The stage is set for a final showdown, with everything on the line.
Chapter 4: The Trap is Set
Angier was consumed by his obsession with discovering Borden’s secret. He wanted to know how Borden performed the trick that he was blamed for the death of his wife. To find out, Angier sought out Nikola Tesla. Tesla was famous for inventing the Tesla coil and his contributions to the fields of physics and electrical engineering. Angier believed that Tesla could help him build a machine that could replicate Borden’s trick.
Tesla agreed to help Angier but warned him about the danger of using his machine. He told Angier that the machine had not been tested and could kill anyone who used it. Angier didn’t care about the risks, and he was willing to pay any price to learn Borden’s secret.
Tesla built the machine, and Angier began using it to perform his magic act. The machine replicated the trick perfectly, but it came at a terrible cost. Every time Angier used the machine, his assistant died. Angier was haunted by the deaths of his assistants and began to question the price he had paid for his obsession.
Meanwhile, Borden’s secret was revealed. Borden had a twin brother that he kept hidden from the world. They had been performing the trick together, each playing a different role in the act. Borden’s twin would disappear, and then reappear in the audience. Angier was stunned by this revelation, and he realized that he had been searching for the wrong thing all along. He didn’t need to know how Borden performed the trick; he needed to discover the identity of his twin.
Angier sets a trap for Borden’s twin. He invites him to his theater, promising to reveal the secret of Borden’s act. When Borden’s twin arrives, Angier locks him in a water tank, which is part of the trick that he plans to perform that night. Angier intends to use the tank to transport himself across the stage, as he believes Borden’s twin does. When the trick goes wrong, and Angier almost drowns, he realizes that the tank wasn’t the secret after all.
Borden’s twin is furious when he is released from the tank. He realizes that Angier has set him up and framed him for the murder of his assistant. Borden’s twin is arrested by the police, and Borden is devastated when he hears the news. He has lost his brother and his friend, and he is blamed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Angier is thrilled that he has finally caught Borden’s twin. He believes that he has won the ultimate prize in their rivalry. But he soon finds out that he has paid an even higher price than he could have imagined. The machine he had used to replicate Borden’s trick was malfunctioning, and his assistant who had entered the tank and had been transported was left disfigured and paralyzed from the waist down.
Angier was faced with the terrible consequences of his obsession. His assistant’s life had been ruined, and he was responsible for the death of multiple assistants. He had become the very thing he had despised – a magician who would put on any act, no matter the cost.
The chapter ends with Angier realizing the terrible truth – he may have caught Borden’s twin, but he has lost everything in the process.
Chapter 5: The Unmasking
Borden sat in the darkness of the theater, watching as Angier performed his final trick. He had broken into the theater, determined to uncover Angier’s secret. He had suspected for some time that the machine was not a magic trick, but a teleportation device.
As he watched the trick unfold, he realized he was right. Angier stepped into the machine and disappeared. Borden could hear the whirring of the machine as it began to work.
But something was different this time. As the machine hummed to life, two Angiers appeared on stage. Borden was stunned. He had not expected this.
The two Angiers faced each other, both looking confused. Borden sensed an opportunity and stepped out of the shadows.
“What is this?” he demanded.
Angier looked at him, then back at his double. “I’m not sure,” he said. “Something has gone wrong.”
Borden walked up to the machine and examined it. He could see that it was not a magic trick at all, but a sophisticated piece of technology.
“This is a teleportation device,” he said. “You’re not really doing magic, are you?”
Angier looked at him with a mix of fear and anger. “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said.
But Borden knew that he was right. He could see the gears and wires behind the machine. He had always suspected that Angier’s tricks were too perfect to be mere illusions.
“You’re using science to create the illusion of magic,” Borden said. “But this is dangerous. What happened to all those assistants who died in the machine?”
Angier’s face turned red with anger. “They knew the risks,” he said. “They were willing to die for the art.”
Borden shook his head in disbelief. “This isn’t art,” he said. “This is madness.”
Angier stepped towards him. “You have no right to judge me,” he said. “You’re just jealous because you could never create something like this.”
Borden took a step back. He could see the madness in Angier’s eyes. He knew he had to be careful.
“You’re right,” he said. “I could never create something like this. But I wouldn’t want to. It’s not worth the price.”
Angier looked at him, then back at his double. He seemed to be considering something.
“You’re right,” he said. “This is not worth the price. But I have to keep going. I have to be the best.”
Borden could see that he was losing him. He had to do something.
“You have to stop,” he said. “This is madness. It has to end.”
Angier shook his head. “I can’t,” he said. “I have to keep going.”
Suddenly, he lunged at Borden, grabbing him by the throat. Borden struggled to break free, but Angier was too strong.
“You can’t stop me,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to be the best.”
Borden struggled to breathe as Angier tightened his grip. He knew he had to act fast.
In a desperate move, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife. He plunged it into Angier’s side.
Angier gasped and stumbled backwards. Borden watched as he fell to the ground, clutching his side.
“I’m sorry,” Borden said. “I didn’t want it to end this way.”
Angier looked up at him, his eyes filled with hatred. “You’ll pay for this,” he said.
Borden knew that he had to leave. He turned and ran out of the theater, leaving Angier behind.
As he ran through the streets of London, he knew that his life would never be the same. He had uncovered Angier’s secret, but it had come at a terrible cost.
He wondered what would become of Angier, and whether he would ever recover from his obsession. He knew that he would never forget the madness he had witnessed.
As he reached his home, he looked back at the theater. He could see the lights still shining through the windows. He knew that the battle between him and Angier was far from over.
Chapter 6: The Final Showdown
The stage was set for the final performance, with Angier and Borden facing each other in an epic showdown. Angier had Borden’s daughter, Jess, as leverage, and the tension was palpable. The audience watched in awe, unaware of the danger lurking beneath the surface.
Angier’s plan was simple – he would perform his most spectacular trick yet, the “real” Transported Man, and expose Borden’s secret in the process. But Borden was always one step ahead, and he had a plan of his own.
The performance began, and Angier emerged from the machine, only to be confronted by Borden. He held Jess in his arms, and the two men stared each other down, both knowing that this was it – the final act of their lifelong rivalry.
Angier gloated, revealing that the machine was not a trick at all, but a teleportation device that killed the original and created a copy. He had been sacrificing his own life every time he performed the trick, driven mad by his obsession with defeating Borden.
Borden, however, was unimpressed. He had long suspected the truth about the machine, and had taken precautions to protect himself. He revealed that he had been using a twin brother all along, and that he was the one who had been sacrificing himself for the trick.
The revelation hit Angier hard, and he collapsed to the ground in defeat. His obsession had consumed him, and he had lost everything in his quest for supremacy over Borden.
But Borden was not finished. He demanded that Angier return his daughter, and the two men engaged in a fierce struggle. Jess was caught in the middle, and it seemed as though all was lost.
In the end, however, Borden emerged victorious. He was able to take Jess back, and Angier was left alone on stage, humiliated and defeated.
But the cost of victory was high. Angier had one final trick up his sleeve, and he activated the machine one last time. As he disappeared, a duplicate Angier emerged from the other side, standing in front of Borden and Jess.
The twist left the audience stunned, and Borden was left to ponder the consequences of his actions. The rivalry had consumed both men, and the price of victory was too high to bear.
As the curtain fell on the final performance, it was clear that the legacy of Angier and Borden would live on. But at what cost? The final chapter of their story would be written by others, inspired by their greatness but haunted by their downfall.
Chapter 7: The Aftermath
Years passed since the infamous showdown between Robert Angier and Alfred Borden. Borden had been released from prison, having served his sentence for the murder of Angier’s assistant. He had been a model prisoner, keeping to himself and never speaking about his past. Now, he was a free man, but the past still haunted him.
Borden, now in his late 50s, had aged considerably since his days as a young magician. His once dark hair was now heavily salted with gray, and deep wrinkles lined his face. He had spent his time in prison reflecting on his life and his mistakes. He had come to terms with the fact that he had played a part in the tragedy that had unfolded years ago.
Borden had missed out on so much while he was behind bars, including the chance to see his daughter grow up. When he was released, he made it his mission to find her. He knew that she had been taken in by a family friend, but he had no idea where to find her. He started by searching online, but it was like finding a needle in a haystack. He spent countless hours on his computer, scrolling through social media profiles, looking for any sign of his daughter.
One day, he received a message from someone claiming to have information about his daughter’s whereabouts. The message was cryptic and didn’t give much away, but it was enough to pique Borden’s interest. He arranged to meet the sender at a coffee shop in downtown London.
When he arrived, he saw a woman sitting at a table in the corner. She was young and pretty, with bright blue eyes and blonde hair that fell in waves around her shoulders. She smiled when she saw him and gestured for him to sit down.
“Mr. Borden, I presume?” she said, extending her hand.
Borden nodded, taking her hand in his. “Yes, that’s me. Do you have information about my daughter?”
The woman nodded. “I do, but before we get into that, there’s something I need to show you.”
She pulled out a small, leather-bound journal from her bag and slid it across the table to him. Borden picked it up and opened it, immediately recognizing his own handwriting.
“It’s my journal,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
The woman nodded. “Yes, it is. I came into possession of it some years ago. It’s quite a fascinating read, Mr. Borden.”
Borden was confused. How had she come into possession of his journal? He had kept it hidden away in a secret compartment in his house. He flipped through the pages, reliving the memories of his past.
“This is incredible,” he said, looking up at the woman. “How did you get this?”
“It doesn’t matter,” she said with a shrug. “What matters is what’s inside.”
Borden continued reading, lost in his memories. He read about his life as a magician, about his twin brother, Frederick, and about the rivalry with Angier. He read about the love of his life, Sarah, and about the sacrifices he had made for his art.
As he read, Borden felt a weight lifting off his shoulders. For years, he had been haunted by his past, by the choices he had made. But now, reading his own words, he realized that he had done what he had to do to become great. He had made sacrifices, but they had been worth it.
When he finished reading, he looked up at the woman. “Thank you,” he said. “Thank you for showing me this. It’s given me a new perspective on my life.”
The woman smiled. “I’m glad I could help. But there’s still the matter of your daughter.”
Borden nodded, putting the journal down on the table. “Yes, of course. What can you tell me?”
The woman told him where to find his daughter and how to contact her. Borden was overjoyed. He thanked the woman and left the coffee shop, feeling like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
He found his daughter living in a small flat in the East End. She was surprised to see him, but happy to be reunited. Borden spent the next few days catching up with his daughter, learning about her life and telling her about his experiences in prison.
On the last day of his visit, Borden took his daughter to visit Angier’s grave. He laid a bouquet of flowers on the headstone and stood there silently, lost in thought. He felt a sense of closure, knowing that he had done everything he could to make amends for his mistakes.
As they walked away from the grave, Borden’s daughter took his hand. “Dad,” she said, looking up at him. “I want to be a magician, just like you.”
Borden smiled down at her, feeling a sense of pride and joy. “Then let’s get started,” he said. “The world needs more magicians like us.”
And so, Alfred Borden and his daughter embarked on a new journey together, carrying on the legacy of their family and the art of magic. Borden knew that his past would always be a part of him, but he was ready to move forward and make a new life for himself and his daughter.
Chapter 8: The Legacy
Borden’s daughter, Jessamine, stands in front of her father’s grave, carefully placing a bouquet of flowers. She knows it’s been years since his passing, but it still feels like yesterday. The memories of her childhood flooded back, and she could feel the pride of following in her father’s footsteps.
The last few years have been a whirlwind since she uncovered his journal, learning the truth about his secrets and the ultimate sacrifice he made for his art. Jessamine knew the legacy of magic would be carried on through her family, and she was determined to make him proud.
As she turns away from the grave, Jessamine’s phone buzzes in her pocket. She pulls it out, sees the message from her assistant, and heads towards the theater. Tonight was the biggest show of her career, and the excitement was palpable.
Jessamine had built a reputation as the next great magician, and her performances were always sold out. Her tricks had a sense of mystery and wonder, leaving audiences spellbound and amazed. She knew how to captivate, confuse, and surprise, all while keeping the show running smoothly.
The theater was packed, and Jessamine could feel the energy from the audience. It was going to be a great night. She takes the stage, the lights shining down on her, and begins the show.
The first act went off without a hitch, Jessamine expertly performing a series of tricks, disappearing and reappearing in a flurry of smoke and mirrors. The second act was just as impressive, leaving the audience gasping in amazement.
As the third act begins, Jessamine’s assistant wheels out a large glass tank. Jessamine climbs inside, with the tank filling up with water. The audience watches in awe as Jessamine takes a deep breath and goes under.
The tension in the air is palpable as the seconds tick by. The audience is transfixed, watching intently as Jessamine struggles, writhing in the tank. For a moment, she disappears, and the audience holds their breath. Suddenly, she reappears, gasping for air, victorious.
The audience erupts into applause as Jessamine takes her final bow. She smiles, feeling the warmth of the spotlight, the rush of adrenaline from a successful performance. This was what she lived for.
As she walks backstage, her assistant hands her a small envelope. Jessamine opens it, and her heart skips a beat. Inside, she finds a note, written in her father’s hand.
“My dear Jessamine, you have made me proud. Your artistry and skill in magic are magnificent. Remember, there are no secrets in magic. Only mysteries waiting to be uncovered. And always, be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for your art. It is the true magic that will live on forever.”
Jessamine’s eyes fill with tears as she reads the note. She feels her father’s presence, his spirit, and his love. She knows that he is with her, guiding her every step of the way. And she is ready to carry on the legacy of magic, just as he did.
The audience had dispersed; the lights had dimmed, and the theater was silent. The only sound was the rustling of the curtains as Jessamine drew them closed and headed out into the night. She knew that this was just the beginning of her journey, and she had a lifetime of magic to unveil.
As she walked beneath the stars, Jessamine knew that each trick, each performance, would be a masterpiece, just like her father’s. She would never stop searching for the mysteries of magic, always striving to uncover the impossible.
For Jessamine, magic was not just a profession; it was a passion and a way of life. She knew that her father’s legacy of magic would live on in her and the generations that would follow. And in that moment, she felt a surge of love and pride for the art that has brought her and her family so much joy and wonder.
Jessamine smiled and took a deep breath. She looked up at the sky, feeling the cool night breeze on her face. She knew that with each performance, she would share her love of magic with the world, one trick at a time. And as long as she had the wonder and mystery of magic, she would always feel alive.
Some scenes from the movie The Prestige written by A.I.
Setting: London, 1890s
Characters: Robert Angier – a skilled magician, Alfred Borden – a rival magician, Julia – Angier’s wife, Cutter – Angier’s assistant
EXT. LONDON STREET – DAY
Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, both dressed in old-fashioned suits, are performing street magic. Crowds gather around them, impressed by their skills. Suddenly, Angier’s wife Julia appears, dressed in fancy clothes. Angier stops his performance and runs to her.
ANGIER: Julia! What are you doing here?
JULIA: I couldn’t stay away any longer. I had to see you.
Borden watches from a distance, his expression darkening.
INT. ANGIER’S DRESSING ROOM – LATER
Angier and Julia are getting ready for their performance. Julia is putting on her costume. Angier is pacing back and forth.
ANGIER: I have a new trick tonight, Julia. I’m going to make you disappear.
JULIA: (alarmed) What? No, Robert. You know I don’t like that trick.
ANGIER: Trust me, my love. It will be the best trick yet.
Julia reluctantly agrees. Cut to their onstage performance.
ANGIER: Ladies and gentlemen, for my next trick, I will make a beautiful woman disappear before your very eyes.
Julia enters a box placed in the middle of the stage. Angier’s assistant, Cutter, closes the door and the box is lifted into the air.
ANGIER: And now, for the magic word. Abracadabra!
The box is dropped back to the ground, but when it opens, Julia is nowhere to be seen. The crowd gasps in shock.
ANGIER: (smiling) Thank you, thank you! And now, for my next trick…
Borden watches from backstage, his expression unreadable.
INT. ANGIER’S DRESSING ROOM – LATER
Angier is pacing back and forth, a look of worry on his face.
CUTTER: What’s wrong, boss?
ANGIER: Something went wrong with the trick. Julia’s still missing.
Cutter looks alarmed.
CUTTER: We have to find her.
Suddenly, there is a knock on the door. Angier opens it to find Borden standing there, wearing a sinister grin.
BORDEN: Hello, Robert. I think we have some unfinished business to attend to.
Angier’s expression turns to one of pure hatred.
ANGIER: You! You had something to do with Julia’s disappearance!
Borden’s smile widens.
BORDEN: Did I? Perhaps you should investigate and find out for yourself.
He turns and walks away, leaving Angier seething with anger and worry.
FADE TO BLACK.
ACT I: The Great Disappearance
EXT. Victorian London – Day
ROBERT ANGIER, 35, a charismatic magician, is performing a magic show in a crowded theater. He is a master of illusion, and his audience is captivated.
INT. Theater – Day
ALFRED BORDEN, 30, a skilled magician, is watching from the audience. He is impressed by Angier’s performance, but he senses something dark about him.
INT. Backstage – Day
Angier finishes his show and meets with his assistant, OLIVIA, 26. They are in love, and their chemistry is palpable.
We need to up our game. Borden is getting too close to the truth.
What can we do?
We need to find out his secret. And I know just the man to help us.
EXT. Wardenclyffe Laboratory – Day
Angier and Olivia travel to the laboratory of NIKOLA TESLA, 59, a brilliant inventor who claims to have discovered a way to transmit electricity wirelessly.
Ah, Mr. Angier, I’ve been expecting you.
We need your help, Mr. Tesla. We need a machine that can replicate a magic trick.
(raising an eyebrow)
And what trick would that be?
Borden’s trick. The one where he makes a bird disappear.
Tesla considers this for a moment.
I think I have just the thing.
INT. Laboratory – Day
Tesla unveils his creation – a massive machine that crackles with electricity.
This is my latest invention. It can do more than just make a bird disappear.
Can it replicate human beings?
In theory, yes. But the energy required would be immense.
We’re willing to pay any price.
Then we have a deal.
INT. Theater – Day
Angier and Olivia perform the new trick – “The Transported Man” – and the audience is amazed. They know they have something special.
But as they leave the stage, Angier is consumed with a dark obsession – to discover Borden’s secret, no matter the cost.
Setting: A laboratory in Colorado Springs
– Robert Angier: A skilled magician obsessed with discovering Alfred Borden’s secret.
– Nikola Tesla: An inventor who is approached by Angier to build a machine.
– Mr. Alley: Tesla’s assistant.
INT. LABORATORY – DAY
Robert Angier stands in front of Nikola Tesla’s laboratory, nervously looking around. He checks his pocket watch and paces back and forth before finally approaching the door and knocking.
Mr. Alley opens the door and greets Angier.
Good day, sir. May I help you?
Yes, I have an appointment with Mr. Tesla.
Of course. Follow me, please.
Angier and Mr. Alley walk through the laboratory, observing various machines and experiments along the way.
They arrive at a large room, where Tesla is working on a device.
Mr. Angier, I presume. Welcome to my laboratory.
Thank you, Mr. Tesla. I’m here to discuss a project with you.
Please, tell me more.
Angier explains his plan to Tesla – he wants him to build a machine that can replicate a magic trick performed by his rival, Alfred Borden.
Interesting. And how would this machine work?
Angier hesitates, but eventually reveals the true purpose of the machine – to transport a person from one location to another.
I see. Well, I have been working on a similar project. It’s still in the experimental phase, but I believe we can adapt it to suit your needs.
Angier is thrilled by the prospect and agrees on the terms.
When can we start?
Right away. Mr. Alley will assist me. But I have to warn you, Mr. Angier, this is dangerous work. We need to be careful.
Angier nods, and the three men get to work, building and testing the machine.
As the days go by, the project becomes more complex and dangerous. Angier and Tesla become increasingly obsessed with perfecting the machine, while Mr. Alley grows more and more uneasy with the direction they are taking.
Finally, they succeed – the machine replicates Borden’s trick, but at a terrible cost.
It works, Mr. Angier. But at what cost? The human body was not meant to be transported this way.
We can’t stop now, Mr. Tesla. This machine will give me the revenge I’ve been seeking.
Logline: Two rival magicians compete for supremacy in a dangerous game of obsession, deceit, and jealousy, with deadly consequences.
Robert Angier – A talented magician who becomes obsessed with discovering the secret to Alfred Borden’s magic trick after the death of his wife.
Alfred Borden – A skilled magician who is fiercely protective of his secrets and will do whatever it takes to maintain his reputation.
Olivia Wenscombe – Robert’s assistant who becomes caught in the middle of the rivalry between the two magicians.
Sarah Borden – Alfred’s loyal wife who supports him in his performances but begins to question their relationship as the rivalry with Robert intensifies.
Cutter – Robert’s stage engineer who he often clashes with over the dangerous illusions he creates on stage.
Setting: London, 19th century
INT. ROBERT ANGIER’S THEATER – NIGHT
Robert watches from his balcony as Alfred performs his famous magic trick, “The Transported Man”. He is determined to discover how he does it and sets his plan in motion.
EXT. ALLEYWAY BEHIND THE THEATER – NIGHT
Alfred’s twin brother, Frederick, exits the theater and is ambushed by Robert’s men. They subdue him and take him back to Robert’s workshop.
INT. ROBERT’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT
Frederick is tied up and Robert confronts him, demanding that he reveal how Alfred performs his trick. Frederick insists that he doesn’t know, but Robert doesn’t believe him.
You expect me to believe you have no idea how your own brother performs his magic trick? We both know that’s a lie.
I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t know how he does it.
Robert walks over to his machine and turns it on.
If that’s how you want to play it, then I have no choice.
He steps into the machine and disappears.
INT. ALFRED’S THEATER – NIGHT
Robert appears on stage, disorientated and confused. The audience gasps in amazement.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my latest illusion – “The New Transported Man!”
The audience erupts into applause as Robert takes his bow, not realizing the true cost of his obsession.
Scene 5: The Unmasking
INT. THEATER STAGE – NIGHT
Angier performs his greatest trick yet, teleporting himself from one end of the stage to the other. The audience is amazed, but Borden watches from the wings, unimpressed.
Borden: “You’re not a magician, Angier. You’re a murderer.”
Angier is taken aback, but tries to play it off as a joke.
Angier: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Borden steps onto the stage, his eyes fixed on Angier.
Borden: “You heard me. That machine of yours, it’s not a magic trick. It’s a death trap.”
Angier’s face falls as he realizes Borden has uncovered his secret.
Angier: “How did you figure it out?”
Borden: “It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re a fraud, and you’ve been killing people for your own selfish desires.”
Angier steps back, looking for a way out.
Angier: “I had to do it. I had to be better than you.”
Borden: “Better than me? You’re a monster, Angier. And now, you’re going to pay for what you’ve done.”
Borden lunges at Angier, and they grapple on the stage. The audience watches in horror as the two magicians fight to the death.
Finally, Borden gains the upper hand and holds Angier at gunpoint.
Borden: “It’s over, Angier. You can’t escape this time.”
Angier looks resigned to his fate, but suddenly, the machine whirs to life behind him.
Angier: “No, not now. Not like this.”
He turns to run, but Borden fires the gun, hitting Angier in the back.
Angier falls to the ground, dead.
Borden stands over him, emotionless.
Borden: “It’s over.”
The audience erupts in applause, but Borden walks offstage, a haunted look in his eyes. He knows that the battle between him and Angier has cost them both everything.