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Penn & Teller Empire Includes Films, Books, TV and Theater

Duo still conquering showbiz worlds

They’re on track to break Las Vegas records for longevity, they’ve been staples on TV for decades and they’re Broadway vets, but Penn & Teller are still pushing out into new ventures and new shows.

Among their upcoming projects: A movie exploring the work of the Dutch painter Vermeer, through their own lens, of course. “It’s about Vermeer, and it’s about an American scientist and inventor who has done some amazing research and experimentation,” says Teller. They’re keeping mum on the details but they’re well into editing, hope to lock picture soon and launch the pic the festival circuit.

They have a Showtime pilot in the works, too, called “Smoke and Mirrors.” Teller says, “It is similar in philosophical position to “Penn and Teller’s Bullshit,” in that it is skeptical; it’s a little more personal, and is a little less theatrical-looking.

It’s a little more like spending an evening with Penn and Teller in their living room.”

Penn says he’d love to recapture the groove they found doing “Bullshit.”

“I didn’t think I could ever like doing TV as much as I liked doing live, because live was so wonderful, and ‘Bullshit’ ended up doing that. I mean, I was as happy and as proud of the stuff we did on “Bullshit” as I was of the live show. I love to talk about important issues through the lens of what we learned.”

Teller has some legit projects: He’ll co-direct “The Tempest” for American Reportory Theater and will be involved in an L.A. production of Play Dead, the “spook show” he co-wrote with Todd Robbins.

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