Watch: The Trailer for 'An Honest Liar - The Story of the Amazing James Randi,' a New Doc From the Writer of 'Being Elmo'

Watch: The Trailer for 'An Honest Liar - The Story of the Amazing James Randi,' a New Doc From the Writer of 'Being Elmo'

Feb 15, 2012

You need to have a lot of gall or a lot of merit to call yourself "amazing." James Randi has both. In the late 1940s he began performing magic under the name of The Amazing Randi. By the early 1960s, Randi had become a television celebrity, a sort of mid-20th Century version of David Blaine, only not pretentious. What separated him from throngs of other magicians, illusionists and the likes was Randi's refusal to claim that any of his gifts were mystical. His own active skepticism made him a star, his tact essentially being to tell audiences, "Look, what I'm about to do isn't real," and then deliver a trick so meticulously designed that it still impressed the very people he just told he was about to lie to.

What makes Randi even more impressive, however, is that his skepticism extends far beyond his own performances. These days he's best known for the James Randi Educational Foundation, which offers a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who claims to have paranormal abilities and who is willing to submit their powers to his strict scientific tests. He regularly challenges well-known mediums like Sylvia Browne and John Edward to take the test, but to this day none have accepted his invitation; and of the lesser-known psychics who have, none have passed the test.

Randi is already no stranger to film and television, but now Justin Weinstein and Tyler Meason, two of the filmmakers behind Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey and Sons of Perdition respectively, are making a documentary about the man, appropriately titled An Honest Liar: The Story of the Amazing James Randi. The film will not only dive into his past and talk to other fellow expert skeptics like Adam Savage, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Penn and Teller, but it will also serve to document Randi's next grand debunking as he plans and assembles, "an Ocean’s Eleven-type team for a carefully orchestrated exposure of a fraudulent religious organization."

Sounds pretty great, no? Check out the Work-In-Progress trailer below and then head to for more info and to donate to the production.

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