By Christopher Nolan

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ANGIER'S WORKSHOP -- DAY Angier and Cutter at the workbench, examine a BIRD CAGE. Cutter is wearing a strange LEATHER HARNESS over his shirt it has LARGE SPRINGS and small PULLEYS on the back. ANGIER The bird cage can't be our climaxeverybody knows it. CUTTER Not like this, they don't. 39. ANGIER And I don't want to kill doves. CUTTER (snaps) Then stay off the stage. (glares at Angier) You're a magician, not a wizard- you have to get your hands dirty to achieve the impossible. ANGIER You sound like him.

CUTTER This is a grand theatre with a sophisticated audience- They've seen most of these tricks before. But not this next one. You'll see. Cutter checks the SPRINGS of the harness and replaces Angier's coat. He spots a STAGEHAND poking his head around the flies. You! CUTTER (CONT'D) Piss off out it! The dancers are wrapping up. ANGIER Wish us luc, Cutter. CUTTER (smiling) I'll have the champagne ready. Angier, followed by Olivia, steps out onto the stage. INT. STAGE -- CONTINUOUS Angier steps to the table center stage.

Cutter puts his hand on Merrit's arms. MerritMERRIT It's done, John. I've hired a comedian. You know I hate comedians, which should indicate the may I felel about your friend's future as a stage magician. Cutter nods. Merrit leaves. Cutter turns to Angier. CUTTER There are plenty of good theatres... if we can come up with another trick and change the name of the actANGIER The name stays. Cutter sees Angier's resolve. CUTTER Right. Well, the new trick will have to be irresistible, then. I've a couple of methods to try out, but we'll need a fresh angle on the presentation.

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