What does a sociopathic billionaire read on his private jet? Standpoint, of course, or so think the producers of a forthcoming Hollywood thriller, Now You See Me 2. Standpoint was recently asked to grant permission for use of the magazine in this film — clearly no low-budget affair, starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Daniel Radcliffe. Standpoint, we were informed, was just the thing that a plutocratic villain seeking world domination would be reading — indeed it would show just what a discerning, intelligent fellow he is. Those working on the project clearly have sound judgment.
The sequel to Now You See Me may not pass the scrutiny of our more discerning readers. A group of magicians, the Four Horseman, resurface after a year in hiding following their previous escapades to perform — under the direction of the previously secret fifth Horseman — their greatest stunt yet. It all goes wrong when they are kidnapped by the Standpoint-reading billionaire in order to force them to steal a supercomputer that can be used to hack into any secure system in the world.
Now You See Me 2 seems to be making a better fist of choosing its star’s current reading than some films have. If one is on the lookout it is surprising how often one can find fugitive Nazis in 1970s and early 1980s films such as The Boys from Brazil (1978) reading Neues Deutschland. A more unlikely pairing is hard to imagine — the paper may have Deutschland in the title but would make rather unappetising fair for any Nazis nostalgic for the old homeland. Neues Deutschland — astonishingly enough still going — was the official daily paper of the Socialist Unity Party, the governing party of Communist East Germany. Its ideological slant would be anathema but that would not be the only problem for these readers: if they were looking for news they would be hard-pressed to find any, unless that is they were especially interested in the latest official communiqué from the Central Committee or General Secretary Erich Honecker’s most recent factory visit. Hollywood is clearly getting better at choosing the reading matter of its stars.