×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blind Card Magician Richard Turner’s Life Story Being Made Into Feature Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Close-up card magician legend Richard Turner will be the subject of a new feature film.

Court Five producers Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky have struck a deal with Keep On Running Pictures and Ralph Smyth Entertainment to develop and produce a feature film based on Turner’s life story, Variety has learned. And what a life it is — Turner became a slight-of-hand master despite the fact that he is completely blind.

Turner was the subject of “Dealt,” an acclaimed Sundance Selects documentary about his life that debuted in 2017. The film went on to win the audience award for documentary at SXSW and became the most watched documentary on iTunes.

The filmmakers behind “Dealt” – director, writer and producer Luke Korem, producer Russell Groves, and writer Bradley Jackson – are all on board to produce the feature film with Court Five. To make the movie, Korem spent months with Turner and his family, capturing them in rare, unguarded moments, and getting the magician to open up about his difficulty coming to terms with his disability.

Turner prefers to call what he does “card mechanics,” but whatever the name for his particular set of skills, they have have entertained millions of people around the world. Just check out this appearance on Penn & Teller, where he leaves the duo astonished and at a loss for words. Because he cannot see the cards, he uses his heightened sense of touch to determine what’s being shuffled.

“Richard Turner is a one-of-a-kind character whose fierce commitment to overcoming adversity is inspiring and moving in equal measure,” Fleming and Ordesky said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand on the terrific storytelling of ‘Dealt’ to bring audiences even more of his incredible story.”

Turner’s infatuation with cards began as a young boy while watching the TV show “Maverick.” At the age of 9, however, his eyesight suddenly began to fail and he was diagnosed with a form of macular degeneration and told he would eventually go blind.  In denial and out of a sense of anger and frustration, Turner began taking greater risks — motorcycling, cliff climbing, and becoming a black belt in karate — before ultimately making his peace with the difficult hand he had been dealt.

“In many ways, Turner’s life plays out like a screenwriter’s dream,” Korem said. “Some parts sound like ‘Big Fish,’ except his life is real. There are so many amazing facets which are full of conflict and intrigue, even beyond what’s in the documentary. We are excited to partner with Court Five and create this new film which will surely entertain, inspire and deeply resonate with audiences.”

Court Five is a multi-platform media company founded by New Line Cinema veterans Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. The company has produced five feature films, most recently the Netflix Original #RealityHigh. On the television front, it has backed the ABC series “The Quest” and is currently developing and packaging new series with Endeavor Content, Chernin TV, Amazon Studios, and Global Road.

More Film

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content