It came as quite a shock when Gary Ross, who directed and shepherded the adaptation of The Hunger Games into a massively successful film that pleased both fans and critics, declined to direct the follow-up, Catching Fire. Ross wasn’t keen on the idea of rushing pre-production in order to meet an August production start-date, so he politely bowed out of the series. Ross takes his sweet time when choosing directorial projects (his only films as director are Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, and Pleasantville), but he’s likely been inundated with offers following the smashing success of the dystopian sci-fi adaptation.
Now it appears that Ross has settled on one of his post-Hunger Games projects, and it happens to be an adventure film about the secret life of Harry Houdini. Hit the jump for more.
It looks like a couple of Harry Houdini projects may soon be battling it out in a movie theater near you. Just last week we told you that DreamWorks was developing a film version of the book Voice From the Dead, which pits Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle as detectives solving mysteries in 1920’s New York. Now Summit has moved forward on their Houdini pic, The Secret Life of Houdini. Based on William Kalush’s book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, the film will turn Houdini into an action/adventure hero (think Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes).
The project has long been in the works, with Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) writing the script back in 2009. Heat Vision reports that Summit now has Noah Oppenheim writing a draft. Oppenheim previously worked on the script for the teen adventure adaptation Maze Runners for director Catherine Hardwicke, but did not work on the atomic bomb. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel, which purports that Houdini was a spy for Britain.