Magicians Versus Nazis

03.08.11 7 years ago 12 Comments

"Accio felix nazius!"

Married writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman (the former is brilliant; the latter, less so) are developing a project for HBO called “Hobgoblin.” Chabon has a gift for creating stories in the stranger nooks of history, but this may take the cake:

HBO is developing a drama series about a group of con men and magicians who battle Hitler and the Nazis during WWII. They use their powers of deception to outwit the Third Reich, you see. [Inside TV]

If this were a movie and the head magician had some kind of disability, this would already be awarded a Best Picture.

Strangely, there appears to be some factual basis for this idea: in the early 1940s, the British army employed a stage magician named Jasper Maskelyne to head a team called The Magic Gang, which created large-scale camouflage and subterfuge. From his Wiki page:

His largest illusion was to conceal Alexandria and the Suez Canal to misdirect German bombers. He built a mockup of the night-lights of Alexandria in a bay three miles away with fake buildings, lighthouse, and anti-aircraft batteries. To mask the Suez Canal he built a revolving cone of mirrors that created a wheel of spinning light nine miles wide, meant to dazzle and disorient enemy pilots so that their bombs would fall off-target.

It’s a shame that this is going to be a drama, because I’d like to see Will Arnett as GOB Bluth in this show somehow. But that’s just how people are: always so serious about their Nazi stories. Nobody seems to like the word LOLocaust, y’know?

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