Fresh off the huge success of their massively viewed adaptations The Bible and Hatfields & McCoys, History is currently working on a miniseries project tentatively called Houdini, with Adrien Brody (The Pianist) signed on to play the famous magician and performer. Gerald Abrams (Modern Marvels), father of the beloved J.J. Abrams, is on board to produce the series. Although not much has been announced about the show, EW says it will depict Houdini’s rags-to-riches story as a magic man and stunt performer at the turn of the 20th century. Houdini’s release date is still TBA. Hit the jump for more.
Brody has done very well in film, and I am excited to see him make the transition to television to play the role of the legendary Houdini. Brody will also be featured in director Wes Anderson’s next film Grand Budapest Hotel, which has a stacked, Anderson-esque cast that includes Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzmann, Jude Law, and Ralph Fiennes among many more. Suffice it to say, the actor is having a very busy year. Hopefully, with the producing expertise of Abrams and the strength of leading man Brody, Houdini will be a magical follow up to the History Channel’s recent success.
Here is the Wikipedia bio for Houdini:
Harry Houdini was an American stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice as “Harry Handcuff Houdini” on a tour of Europe, where he sensationally challenged different police forces to try to keep him locked up. This revealed a talent for gimmickry and for audience involvement that characterized all his work. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to hold his breath inside a sealed milk can.
In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London’s Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were fabricated, Houdini meanwhile presented himself as the scourge of fake magicians and spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists who gave practitioners a bad name.