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Casting Updates on Mimi Leder's Mandrake the Magician

by
May 19, 2009
Source: ComingSoon

Mandrake the Magician

Where has this project been hiding? ComingSoon has announced the official cast for MGM's Mandrake the Magician, based on Lee Falk's comic strip. Early last year, Jonathan Rhys Meyers had apparently been cast as Mandrake, but now the role will go to Hayden Christensen, with Djimon Hounsou joining in as a supporting character. The film is being co-written by Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, JV Hart, and Ian Jeffers. Mimi Leder, of The Peacemaker, Deep Impact, and Pay It Forward most recently, will direct. So does this mean Mandrake will finally move into production sometime later this year?

In the film, Jackson Mandrake (Christensen) is an underground magician and escapologist. Following a daring escape from an SUV dropped out of an plane, he is coerced by the CIA into breaking a deep-cover agent named Xi Shing Lung out of a maximum security jail. Hypnosis, contortion, distraction and technical wizardry all come into play as Mandrake breaks the agent out. But then Mandrake learns that it was all a set-up. Xi is a CIA agent gone bad. He offers Mandrake the chance to join him. When he refuses, he's a marked man. He must escape his would-be-killers and the real CIA who think he is in league with Xi.

That plot description doesn't sound that great, but it's a start, as I'm not looking for anything brilliant with this. It's no secret that I've had a lifelong love for all things magic - I love any movie related to magicians or magic. Therefore I'm inherently excited for this, even with a fairly cheesy and unoriginal plot. But back on topic, Christensen in the lead is also quite a let down; I honestly preferred Rhys Meyers. I'm also wondering if Randy Couture and Criss Angel are also still on board, as they were both cast originally early last year. We'll let you know when they start shooting and any other casting updates as arrive in the next few months.

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  • M
    Sounds boring
  • Luis M
    Will he team up with Flash Gordon and the Phantom That Walks as well?
  • Lazarus
    Euh...Mannequin SkyJumper as Mandrake....can you spell rock bottom. His career is going in flames. And Djimon is once more the obligatory black guy with a cool supporting role, but no real impact on the story. Wow...LaLawood is struggling worse then i thought...
  • harrison
    wait....someone wants to hire hayden christenson?
  • S
    I'd rather see a movie about the Sorcerer Supreme
  • I think this sounds completely original and exciting. I'd love to see the crazy stunts Angel does incorporated into a story. I understand the complaining about Christenson, but the story sounds pretty good.
  • jumper guy meets push dude in another bs of a movie
  • Fisherr
    I agree with you Alex about the plot but i would love to see how Hayden and Djimon performs.
  • Chuck Norris
    Hayden Christensen blows. That is all.
  • janitt dott
    I was SO excited about this project WITH Jonathan Rhys Meyers perfectly cast as Mandrake and Chris Angel doing the majick and Chuck Russell directing. Now you could not PAY me to see it.
  • janitt dott
    apologies...I mean CRISS Angel. And last I heard Criss is now coaching on the Houdini play and doing the FX for Michael Jackson's London concerts. Far as I can find out, Angel's no where near this film, it's not the same writers either now, and I don't think Falk is still part of it. Total meltdown of the original project which looked good on paper. Very sad...
  • Rachel
    I am disappointed that the dynamic of this film has changed so drastically. Chuck Norris was orignally going to direct this film and he was the better choice of director. He directed Scorpion King and the Mask but now we have Mimi Leder who directed The Peacemaker and Deep Impact. The plot has changed too we now know that we have a corrupt CIA agent. The original plot was a lot more ambiguous and convoluted and gripping before with Mandrake assisting the CIA and uncovering an unknown criminal mastermind, the current plot sounds tired and predictable. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was the obvious choice for Mandrake, he has the hypnotising eyes, plus the depth and darkness to carry off a character like Mandrake. But it seems because the clout of the film has waned a little and for that we lost Jonny on this film. Plus Jonny and Angel would have rocked together, they were aesthetically matched, personality matched and talent matched. Hayden does fall below the bar compared to Jonny and I can't see Angel and Hayden quite getting along as well as I imagine Angel and Jonny would have done.
  • Rachel
    sorry I meant chuck russel not norris doh!
  • Peter
    I am very disappointed. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was perfect for the role. Those hipnotizantes and deep eyes were perfect for one role as this.
  • Peter
    hypnotising not hipnotizantes :/
  • jane
    This could have been good with Rhys Meyers in it. But now. PLEASE. Another c level film with a boring actor.
  • sweetpea
    I was looking forward to watching MR. Meyers playing the role of Mandrake.
  • Jabroni101
    I'd rather watch a hot steaming pile of shit surrounded by flies in the dead heat of a nice San Gabriel Summer day, then watch this movie.
  • jman571
    ahahaahahahahahahah Hayden Christensen....oh wait you're serious? hahahahahahhahaha
  • Gina
    I'm so disappointed that Jonathan Rhys Meyers won't be in this film - I think it would be a perfect casting - you would have got a hypnotising, dark/edgy and sexy Mandrake now you'll get a mediocre one in my opinion who wants that - much missed opportunity - shame :(
  • Sue
    Now, this is a major disappointment. I mean, who could've been a better choice to play a magician than Mr Meyers, magical himself? Oh gosh, please, tell me he's not out.
  • Holly
    I have to agree. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was a better choice. Dark, sexy & mysterious. OHHH what could have been!
  • Winnie
    If they can't wait for JRM to be available to do this movie, then they shouldn't even bother to make it. This project has gone from very cool to a big flop. IMHO

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