Penn Jillette Thinks Batman Is The ‘Ultimate American Magician’

Batman is many things. A brilliant mind, a strong fighter, a cunning sleuth, a superhero. But would you also consider him a magician?

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Batman is many things. A brilliant mind, a strong fighter, a cunning sleuth. But would you also consider him a magician?

The Washington Post recently sat down with 24 professionals from across various industries to ask them how they felt certain movies represented the fields they worked in. When magician Penn Jillette was asked which film best depicts magic and being a magician, he surprisingly named The Dark Knight.

Jillette explained that his reasoning behind this choice has to do with the deception that goes into being Batman, and how that also plays into the life of a magician:

“The magic I think is beautiful is the magic of trickery. What I love about Batman is he doesn’t have any supernatural powers. In “The Dark Knight,” with the Joker and Batman, you really have two magicians running scams. I love the intellectual interest of the boat scene [where there are two boats laden with explosives, and a philosophical debate about who should survive]. When you talk about modern American magic, it’s not supernatural, it’s the playful study of epistemology. It’s how we attain information, and how we attain what is true. In the boat scene, it’s: How people perceive morality, coupled with an impossible trick. The ultimate American magician is Batman.”

Jillette is right in that Batman uses his wits to outsmart his enemies as the World’s Greatest Detective. By using the boat scene from The Dark Knight to explain how the Joker and Batman are both using misdirection in order to outsmart the other, Jillette does make an interesting point as far as comparing movie magic to real magic.

What do you think, should we add World’s Greatest Magician to Batman’s title? Sound off in the comments below!

Source: The Washington Post

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith

Heroic Hollywood Weekend Editor. Pop culture fanatic, writer, and filmmaker. Almost always found on Twitter.