The team that brought you the National Treasure films – producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and Nicolas Cage – has struck gold again with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Balthazar Blake (Cage) is the master sorcerer who takes on the physics nerd New Yorker Dave (Jay Baruchel) as his protégé. When Dave unwillingly agrees to assist Balthazar in fighting ferocious villains, severe and hilarious complications ensue.

Dave’s love interest Becky (Teresa Palmer) explores the mystery he’s hiding, while his roommate Bennett (Omar Miller) persistently encourages Dave to take opportunities in life.

“[I’m] committed to getting Dave to actively participate in his own life. He’s kind of been walking through being the genius in school, but he hasn’t engaged in his personal life,” says Miller.

On screen Baruchel plays Dave, the nerdy guy who’s chasing a girl seemingly out of his league. Co-star Palmer admits he does share some similarities with Dave.

“I think Jay is very much like his character in the way that he’s super endearing and lovely. He’s not as nerdy as his character. He’s a lot cooler,” describes Palmer.

Baruchel’s enthusiasm for the film is indescribable. Playing opposite one of his heroes, Cage, Baruchel acted as a real-life apprentice.  

“Now I’m playing with the guys I got into this for, the guys that made me want to become an actor. And now I have my chance. I didn’t want to blow it,” tells Baruchel.

Cage also inspired castmate Miller.

“It was great to work with him,” says Miller. “Anytime I get a chance to soak up some knowledge from somebody who has so much experience, I really jump on it.”

Equally humbled by working alongside legendary filmmakers is Toby Kebbell, who plays the egotistical villain Drake Stone.

“I knew that I could let my imagination run wild and come up with something, and the best version would be chosen,” says Kebbell. “That’s the blessing of working with such a large, experienced group.”

Avoiding the 3-D fad, director Turteltaub explains it wasn’t exactly intentional: “We went to Disney two and a half years ago and said, ‘This is a perfect 3-D movie,’ and they said, ‘Oh, that’s silly. No one’s doing 3-D, and it’s a waste of money.’ True story.”

The film is so action-packed it is easy to overlook the 3-D absence. The filmmakers dealt with an adequate amount of challenges with effects.

“You have to do a lot of planning. The amount of special effects made it very difficult,” admits Turteltaub. “You have to be more prepared and know exactly what you want because you have to be very specific.”

The film tips a Mickey-sized hat to the epic Fantasia’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in a scene where Dave breaks his sorcery rules and orders mops and brooms to clean his basement while he freshens up for a date.

“We had to be very careful with how we adapted it,” relays Bruckheimer. “We didn’t want to ruin the magic, but create new magic as a loving homage to the original.”

“You’ve got to approach it with a degree of reverence,” says Baruchel. “If we failed, it would’ve been a big mess. It sounds cheesy, but I felt the ghosts of my grandparents kind of watching me.”

Embracing its magic, Baruchel was ready to take on the film’s challenges, too.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t practiced shooting energy out of my hands my entire life. I’ve been waiting for this,” says Baruchel.

Another part of the film’s magic is its setting.

“New York has everything, wonderful high-rises, a fast pace, the greatest restaurants in the world, the centers of publishing and finance. It will never look as magical as it does in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” remarks Bruckheimer.

When the cast and crew were asked what they would do if given the opportunity to use magic one time, Baruchel jokes, “I’d blow something up with my hands.”

Homesick Palmer would teleport back to Australia, and the gracious Bruckheimer responds, “I’d keep it just the way it is.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice releases in theaters July 16.