in and of itself movie

In 2016, feature film director Frank Oz directed a show called In & Of Itself, which was created by acclaimed magician Derek DelGaudio. The show played at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles and Off-Broadway in New York City and drew dozens of celebrity guests curious to experience it; while it was initially supposed to run for just 10 weeks, it ended up being extended to a staggering 560 performances over 72 weeks before it ultimately came to an end last summer.

And by “end,” I actually mean “end.” The show is truly completed, with no more performances scheduled. But if, like me, you never got to see the show in person, there’s good news: it turns out there’s going to be an In and Of Itself movie.

Earlier this week, Frank Oz revealed that he was “busy editing the movie version of In & Of Itself” with DelGaudio, which is the first we’re hearing of the show being turned into a feature. In a Deadline interview from last year, DelGaudio admitted that the show had been “documented,” but it wasn’t his plan to turn it into a Netflix or HBO special. “I mean, maybe that’s where something will end up if I do put something out,” he said at the time, “but that’s not the intention that I have with it.”

Describing the actual show itself sounds challenging, but /Film’s Peter Sciretta (who’s an amateur magician himself and a member of the famed Magic Castle) saw it when it was in Los Angeles and wrote a full review of the entire experience, in which he said:

In & Of Itself makes the case for the art of magic with the power of storytelling. Derek DelGaudio isn’t just performing magic tricks but presenting a moving deeply personal and compelling narrative, using magic as a metaphor to reach a deeper truth.

His whole piece is worth a read, especially if you’re intrigued about a potential film version.The score is from Mark Mothersbaugh, the Devo frontman who has crafted scores for movies like Rushmore, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and Thor: Ragnarok. Presumably those elements will be preserved for the film version as well.

You probably know Oz from his work as the voice of Yoda and Muppet characters like Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal, but he’s also a respected director of movies like The Dark Crystal, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, What About Bob?, The Indian in the Cupboard, Bowfinger, The Score, and Death at a Funeral. As you can tell from the sheer variety of titles in his filmography, he’s the type of person who always likes to shake things up and stay fresh, so adapting this magic show feels very in line with his interests. When DelGuadio asked Oz why he got involved with the show in the first place, he responded, “I recognized you wanted to break something, and I don’t get a lot of chances to do that anymore.”

There’s no word on a release date yet (hilariously, Oz is now pretending in his tweets that the movie version doesn’t exist at all), but we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.

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