Some movies build pre-release hype by playing up the transformations made by their stars, whether by makeup or dramatic changes to their body type. Public interest in films like The Machinist or Tropic Thunder had as much to do with the bizarre lengths the production had gone to change actors’ appearances as they did with the films’ actual content.

While not nearly as dramatic as Christian Bale losing most of his body weight or Robert Downey Jr. donning what amounts to overelaborate blackface, the cast of next year’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone seem to be attempting to garner interest in much the same way. This time, it looks like much of the comedy’s cast will be donning wacky wigs in the course of their roles as competing Las Vegas magicians.

USA Today has debuted a pair of promotional photos for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The first of these images shows off stars Steve Carell (Despicable Me 2) and Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) in their bewigged roles as magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton. The second  displays a still from the film, in a moment somewhat less flamboyant than the promotional shot of the Carell and Buscemi’s dynamic duo.

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For a movie with rather little hype, one can see from the second image that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone sports an eyebrow-raising cast. Along with Carell and Buscemi, Wonderstone also features Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2), Alan Arkin (Argo), and Jay Mohr (Suburgatory). Not pictured are co-stars James Gandolfini (Zero Dark Thirty), Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy), and even a cameo appearance by David Copperfield as himself. Copperfield also apparently served as the film’s creative consultant when it came to some of the more elaborate illusions performed onscreen.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone apparently follows the titular Las Vegas stage magician and his longtime assistant (Buscemi) as they find their act growing ever more irrelevant in an era of bolder, hipper talent. Pushed off the stage by the up-and-coming Steve Gray (Carrey), Burt and Anton attempt one last big stunt (parodying a headline-grabbing endurance “trick” by David Blaine). After their failure, the pair breaks up and heads off on respective quests of self-discovery. No doubt the film will follow both as they attempt to regain their magical mojo.

As amusing as the photographs of familiar entertainers in silly wigs are, Steve Carrel sporting a mullet doesn’t guarantee a movie’s worth of solid comedy. There’s plenty of potential in the summary of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (not to mention its cast), but it seems to follow a structure rather familiar to gimmicky comedies of its kind. Of course, the real proof will be in the film’s individual jokes and gags. With as much talent (and crazy hair) as there is assembled on the project, one hopes that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will be able to elicit more than just a paltry few wig-based guffaws.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will appear in theaters on March 15th, 2013.

Source: USA Today