It's Back To Magic For Daniel Radcliffe — Kind Of

Since graduating from Hogwarts, Daniel Radcliffe has made a point of exhibiting his range, playing a beat poet, a mad scientist's assistant, and even a corpse. But in one of this summer's biggest sequels, the actor returns to somewhat familiar, magical territory. Daniel Radcliffe aligns with the infamous Four Horsemen in Now You See Me 2, but Harry Potter fans might be confused by his role. The actor's character Walter Mabry is more muggle than wizard, hence his need for the rock star magicians of the first film, played by Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, and Lizzy Caplan taking the place of Isla Fisher. Consciously or not, Daniel Radcliffe subverts his most famous role in Now You See 2, adding a fun, meta layer to the sequel.

It's a layer that wasn't as obvious to the Harry Potter alum initially as it is to his fans. He insists he didn't even note the similar themes until after he'd committed to the part. “No one’s going to believe that, will they?” Daniel Radcliffe asked Entertainment Weekly . To be fair to Radcliffe, the Now You See Me universe isn't easily confused with J.K. Rowling's wizarding world. A refresher: the first Now You See Me film introduced the Four Horsemen, a group of elite magicians who use their talents to challenge power, authority, and the one percent. The magic they perform may be real (it's certainly hinted at in the first movie), but their tricks would be more appropriate for a Vegas theater than, say, Molly's kitchen at the Burrow. "Obviously, the Harry Potter films are connected with magic," Radcliffe said. "But the world of magic they inhabit is so different from the one Now You See Me inhabits that it didn’t feel like there was too much of a crossover."

Even if the universes were more alike, The Boy Who Lived would trounce Radcliffe's Now You See Me character in a wizards' duel. Director John Chu told Entertainment Weekly, "Walter definitely plays the anti-magician, who maybe used to love magic, but he’s horrible at it." (Some Hogwarts students could probably relate.) In the trailer, Mabry kinda/sorta kidnaps the magicians to steal a valuable piece of info tech for him. In an interview with Flicks And The City Plus, Radcliffe adds that his villain also wants to hang with the cool kids "Half of his motivation for doing what he does in this film is to try and get some friends," the actor said. "I think he's slightly enamored of the Horsemen and just thinks they're the coolest and wants them to like him, but because they don't, he sort of resorts to...not treating them well."

Harry Potter could be a sullen teenager at times, but he definitely knew how to do friendship. So add "sub-par social skills" to the list of differences between Harry and Radcliffe's Now You See Me 2 character Walter Mabry. "Poor decision-making" too, since he seems to believe that his wealth and position precludes him from being outsmarted by his very clever forced "friends."

Images: Summit Entertainment; Giphy