The film features Jackman and Bale as magicians, one-time partners who become deadly competitors.
Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie, who did not attend the premiere, also star in the film, which was directed by Christopher Nolan ("Memento" and "Batman Begins"). The film reunites Nolan with his "Batman Begins" stars Bale and Caine, as well as with his screenwriter brother, Jonathan Nolan, who also collaborates with him on the forthcoming sequel to "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight," among others.
Caine was full of praise for Nolan.
"He is a great writer, he is a great director and what makes him a great director is he knows exactly what's going wrong, if anything is, and he knows exactly how to tell you if you get it right and he says it quietly. The better the director, the quieter he is. If you see a director shouting, he is a bum," Caine said.
Christian Bale says the movie meant the chance to play another great role: "They do not come up that often, so when 'The Prestige' does, when something as good as this does, when it is as special as this, you just jump onto it."
Jackman said that making the film brought him to an understanding of the essence of magicians.
"Magicians, I think, are born, not made," Jackman explains. "If it is not in your blood, you are not going to go through that age of 10 to 20 on your own, in a mirror in front of a bathroom. What they are prepared to put themselves through, that is just the training. Then to pull off a trick, sometimes they risk their lives, particularly in the era we are doing. It really was almost life and death, what they did in order to stay at the top."