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Thaddeus's (Morgan Freeman) debunking of Dylan's (Mark Ruffalo) father's magic act forced him to stage a "comeback" which, due to several factors, led to his death by drowning. His father, Lionel Shrike (Elias Koteas), was attempting to regain the spotlight and again become a well regarded magician and decided to stage an inherently dangerous trick where he was locked into (what turned out to be a poorly constructed and cheap) safe and lowered into the East River whereby he drowned. Dylan saw Thaddeus as a failed and spiteful magician who, instead of performing a "legitimate" act, sought fame through exposing and debunking magicians, mentalists, and the like, and so sought revenge.

Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain the Theatrical Version and the approx. 10 minutes longer Extended Version which contains more story elements that are really worth it on the one hand but also a lot of scenes that are only trivially longer on the other hand. In total the Extended Version is 9 minutes 27 seconds longer than the Theatrical Version. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

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