After a prolonged casting search, Summit Entertainment and director Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”) have finally found a leading man for their magician heist pic “Now You See Me,” as Jesse Eisenberg has agreed in principle to star and is in early negotiations to work his movie-star magic.
Additionally, Summit’s “Source Code” star Jake Gyllenhaal has an offer to play the other lead and “Inglourious Basterds” breakout Melanie Laurent also has an offer.
Studio had previously been courting Colin Firth, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant for supporting roles.
Thriller follows a group of the world’s greatest illusionists, who pull off daring bank heists during their performances, showering the profits on their audience. Eventually, the FBI gets involved, prompting a cat-and-mouse game between adversaries.
Dealmaking with Eisenberg and Gyllenhaal is still in the very early stages, so don’t be surprised if one or the other pulls a disappearing act due to scheduling, which is still being worked out.
Mini-major Summit nabbed Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt’s hot spec script last June and tapped Leterrier to direct in February.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing through their K/O Paper Products shingle, while Paper Products’ Bobby Cohen will exec produce with Yakin.
Eisenberg, who’s coming off an Oscar nom for playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” is set to spend the summer filming Woody Allen’s “Bop Decameron.” He next stars in Ruben Fleischer’s MRC-produced laffer “30 Minutes or Less,” which Columbia Pictures releases on Aug. 12.
Gyllenhaal has driven the mid-budget thriller “Source Code” to an impressive $111 million worldwide gross. Thesp is currently attached to star in David Ayer’s cop drama “End of Watch.”
ICM reps Eisenberg. CAA and Management 360 rep Gyllenhaal.