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Tuesday 29th March, 2005
Former 7th Heavener Jessica Biel and brooding Brit Rufus Sewell are joining Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti in "The Illusionist."
Writer-director Neil Burger's $17 million turn-of-the-century drama that begins shooting April 4 in Prague.

Burger's adaptation of the Steven Millhauser short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist" is set in 1900 Vienna.

A streetwise magician (Norton) uses his dark arts to win Princess Sophie (Biel) away from Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell). Famed magician/historian Ricky Jay is consulting on the film.

Best known for her role as a wholesome teen on television's "7th Heaven," Biel has been changing her image with such films as "The Rules of Attraction," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Blade: Trinity."

She recently received a positive response at a ShoWest screening of footage from the upcoming summer action movie "Stealth." She also stars in Cameron Crowe's next film, "Elizabethtown."

Biel landed the coveted female lead in "The Illusionist," which she actively chased, after an arduous casting process including several screen tests.

Filmmakers were seeking an actress who could bring a contemporary feel to a period yarn, and "she fit the bill," producer Michael London said.

Brit thesp Sewell's credits include "A Knight's Tale," "Hamlet," "Cold Comfort Farm" and television's "Helen of Troy" and "Middlemarch." His upcoming features are "Tristan & Isolde" and "Legend of Zorro."

"How come I'm the only one in this movie who's giving a urine sample?"

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