Disclaimer: If you haven't seen the the movies yet I suggest not to continue reading as there might be a minor spoiler within my question.

So we are revealed in the course of the two movies that Dylan's father was performing a Houdini's escape alike trick of getting out of what looked like a safe submerged into water. We are also shown in Now You See Me 2 that he did not make it out of the safe in time and died.

Have I missed it or was there any explanation of what really went wrong and why did Dylan's father fail to get out of the safe? This really bothers me as we are shown how Dylan without much practice was able to open the same safe.

  • But didn't they say in movie 2 (I think) that nobody found the safe or his dad? Or was I hearing things but if so would that mean his dad isn't dead and he is the one who started the eye? Or is one of the higher ups calling the shots?
    – user41065
    Sep 11, 2016 at 18:17

3 Answers 3


It was explained by the end of the first movie

From the script

  • And Elkhorn? What's the connection to Shrike?

  • Elkhorn started as a safe manufacturer. They used cheap steel. They cut corners. When he got to the bottom of the river, the safe warped.

  • And he was trapped.

  • 5
    This plot point always bothered me. Whether they used cheap steel or not, the safe was not designed for escape tricks. It was designed not to open and did a good job of that underwater. CinemaSins put it well: "Are we supposed to sympathize with Dylan here? The safe manufacturer didn't do anything wrong. Hell, if anything, Shrike's death is a testimonial to the unbreakable quality of the safes!" Sep 9, 2016 at 1:10

My guess is Lionel Shrike faked his death for some larger as yet unknown purpose.

Short answer is that he used a trick safe developed by the Eye and has been hiding in the backgrounds for the past two movies. This is corroborated by the second movie where Max Shrike finds a prototype safe at the Macau magic store and is able to withstand the same scenario his father was put through when Tressler and Mabry try to kill him. Meaning the safe wasn't made by Elkhorn, it had a trick opening from the inside, and is easy to escape without detection using SCUBA gear. As to why, the answer seems to be about initiation into The Eye and whether its' political beliefs would call for such a measure. Due to their anti-authoritarianism beliefs, they would need to carefully vet every candidate and make sure they would be up to the effort. Hence the reference the Interpol agent makes to new recruits needing to carry out blind commands. It could be Lionel Shrike had to fake his death to show his devotion, much like Jack Wilder.

Here's a full theory on it: https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/a0ve4b/now_you_see_me_too_lionel_shrike_faked_his_death/

  • 1
    Hi, Welcome to Movies and TV SE. While appreciating your answer, fan theories are not considered proper answers here. (PS: I read your theory and it's not bad :) ). See how to provide a better answer here: How to Answer, and what is on-topic an doff-topic here: help center , help center
    – Vishwa
    Nov 28, 2018 at 3:59
  • 1
    This is also what we call a link-only answer. Links tend to die out over time, so please copy the theory (or at least the important details) into the body of your answer, otherwise this is likely to be deleted.
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 28, 2018 at 6:51
  • Thank you, Vishwa and F1Krazy. I hope that helps fix it. Please let me know if I need to do more. Found this question during a Google search yesterday and just want to help. Nov 28, 2018 at 15:30

[Spoiler Contained in the Answer]

In the first movie they establish that Bradley tried to expose Lionel Shrike's tricks and in an attempt to rebuild his image he performed his final trick. The safe manufacturer had built a faulty safe which warped underwater disabling Lionel Shrike to open the safe and got him killed.

In the second movie, it is revealed that Bradley was working with Lionel and the duo planned the whole thing where Bradley would expose Shrike which would only add more publicity to Lionel's next performance. However, when Shrike dies, Bradley rushes towards the water and see young Dylan and in some moment of realization, just does not act further and walks away.

So when finally Dylan meets Bradley in the climax of the second movie, he confesses to Dylan about the mutual partnership between him and Lionel Shrike and tells Dylan how he has turned out as good a magician as his father and asks Dylan to take his place.

*Curtain Scene*

  • 2
    Except for the warping safe (which is already mentioned by another answer), the huge majority of this answer doesn't actually adress the question at all and is only clutter about an entirely different topic.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 20, 2016 at 15:04

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