‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ Joins An Established Tradition Of Great Cinematic Sorcerers

Nicolas Cage makes his long-awaited debut as a full-on magic user in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which premieres in theaters nationwide today. The actor stars in the Jon Turteltaub-directed film as Balthazar Blake, a brilliant Manhattan-based sorcerer who recruits an apprentice (Jay Baruchel) in his quest to defeat the evil wizard Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Cage-infused hilarity and magic promptly ensues.

In truth, Cage has always been a somewhat magical presence, thanks to his irrefutably memorable turns in movies like “The Rock,” “Con Air,” “Wicker Man” and even “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.” Still, it’s nice to see the actor finally getting his due by joining the ranks of cinema’s many great on screen sorcerers. Cage’s Balthazar has the potential to become one of the greatest wizards in Hollywood history, but he’s certainly got some stiff competition — after the jump, check out some of cinema’s other truly spellbinding sorcerers!

Albus Dumbledore
Portrayed very differently by two enormously compelling actors, both Richard Harris and Michael Gambon expertly brought the beautifully written “Harry Potter” sage off the page and into theaters everywhere. Frequently quirky but equally capable of extraordinary displays of power, Dumbledore boasts a larger-than-life presence matched by few other movie magicians.

The “Lord of the Rings” magic wielder goes through an intense transformation from the wise but playful Gandalf the Grey to the nearly omnipotent Gandalf the White, and we love both versions. Truly, the very notion of recasting Ian McKellen in “The Hobbit” has been met with no small amount of anger from the fan community, and though we tried our best to name some suitable replacements, there’s no denying that McKellen is Gandalf.

Jareth the Goblin King
Is there anything better than David Bowie? Yes, there is — David Bowie as a magically gifted antagonist known throughout the Labyrinth as Jareth, King of Goblins. A magical creature with the ability to transform into owls, undisputed control over a legion of Goblins and the voice of an angel, Jareth is easily one of the best things that ever came from the wonderfully inventive minds of Jim Henson and Bowie alike.

Thulsa Doom
Not all sorcerers are good guys. In fact, many of them are downright evil, like Thulsa Doom. But even if Doom spends the entirety of “Conan the Barbarian” making the titular hero’s life a living hell, come on… it’s James Earl Jones! Not only that, it’s James Earl Jones with long flowing hair! And if you don’t like Thulsa Doom, you most assuredly will love the way he exits the “Conan” films.

Willow Ufgood
Let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we? “Willow” is awesome. “Willow” deserves a sequel. We want it. You want it. Warwick Davis wants it. George Lucas, make it happen!

Tell us some of your favorite movie sorcerers in the comments section and on Twitter!