Long before glorified street performers David Blaine played with electricity or Criss Angel freaked your mind, there was the one and only Harry Houdini. For a life (and death) as theatrical and dramatic as Houdini’s was, with a career that’s a good old-fashioned, American success story, it’s surprising that there aren’t more biopics about the escape artist. Director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) may remedy that. Wright is reportedly in talks with Lionsgate about helming Houdini, a picture based on the biography, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Hit the jump for more.
Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim has been tapped to pen a new adaptation of George Orwell‘s classic dystopian novel 1984. The terrifying tale centers on a man who falls in love, and attempts to break free of an authoritarian surveillance society “Big Brother” is always watching. The book was previously adapted in 1984 (couldn’t miss that opportunity!) by Michael Radford and starred John Hurt, Richard Burton, and Suzanna Hamilton. Deadline reports that the new version of is being produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, along with Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn.
Oppenheim is a hot screenwriter who still doesn’t have a produced film to his credit. His Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie hit the 2010 Black List, and he’s also attached to remakes of Snabba Cash and WarGames along with an adaptation of the young adult novel The Maze Runner. 1984 has always resonated with readers since it was published in 1949, so perhaps it will be Oppenheim’s his first script to get in front of cameras. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
The 1983 film WarGames is well-suited for an update—the vast advancement in video game technology in the past three decades opens the door for a fresh take on the material. According to Heat Vision, MGM has hired Noah Oppenheim for the task. The up-and-coming screenwriter does not yet have a produced credit, but he has several projects in development. There’s the Snabba Cash remake, a Jackie Kennedy biopic produced by Steven Spielberg, an adaptation of The Maze Runner, and the wonderfully titled The Secret Life of Houdini. I’ll wait to see one of these movies before I praise him too much, but there’s something to be said for a screenwriter who convinces so many employers of his greatness. Plus, it is appropriate that a man named Oppenheim will write the movie about a boy who nearly starts a nuclear war when he thinks he’s playing a video game.
Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) will direct WarGames for MGM. Read about his approach to the remake after the jump.
Last month, we reported that Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke had signed on to direct an adaptation of James Dashner’s best-selling young-adult novel The Maze Runner. The books center on a group of teenagers who wake up to find themselves trapped in an ever-changing maze. 24 Frames is now reporting that screenwriter Noah Oppenheim has been brought on to write the script. Oppenheimer is an interesting choice as his previous scripts are for an English-language remake of the Swedish crime thriller Snabba Cash and a biopic about Jackie Kennedy set during the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.
The Maze Runner is the latest young-adult franchise that studios are hoping will be the next Harry Potter or Twilight. Hit the jump for a synopsis for the novel. Other hopeful young-adult-novel-based franchises currently in various stages of development include The Hunger Games, Hovercar 3D, and I Am Number Four. I’m sure they will all be successful and in no way be the next Cirque du Freak or The Dark Is Rising or The Golden Compass or Lemony Snicket or Eragon or Percy Jackson or City of Ember or…
The 2010 Black List has been announced. For those who don’t know, the Black List is a list of the best “unproduced” screenplays in Hollywood. I put “unproduced” in quotations because some of these screenplays are in various stages of production. For instance, College Republicans (formerly Young Republicans) has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano circling the project while Safe House has Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds on board. J.C. Chandor’s script (which he also directed) Margin Call is the furthest along of the Top 10 as it’s already set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Hit the jump to check out the 2010 Black List Top Ten.
Noah Oppenheim is set to write the remake of the acclaimed Swedish crime thriller Snabba Cash. The story centers on a man living a double-life as a coke dealer. Oppenheim first generated attention when Steven Spielberg cast his eye on Oppenheim’s script about Jackie Kennedy’s life in the days following JFK’s assassination. In addition to reporting that Oppenheim will pen the remake of Snabba Cash, 24 Frames confirms that Rachel Weisz is attached to play Jackie and that Darren Aronofsky is on board to direct.
The Swedish version of Snabba Cash will be distributed in the U.S. under the far more generic title “Easy Money” even though it’s so much more fun to say “Snabba Cash“.
We have all seen a number of films made about President John F. Kennedy and his assassination, but as big of a figure as he was, he managed to have an equal in his late wife, Jackie. Now, the LA Times is reporting that Steven Spielberg is shopping around a script entitled Jackie that will combine the two, although fashion and superstardom are likely to be left out. Noah Oppenheim, who holds many titles including head of development at Reveille, journalist, author, and a former producer for the Today Show, wrote the script that follows Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ perspective in the days following her husband’s assassination. Although Spielberg is just on board as a producer at this point, he is attracting a familiar buyer.
According to the article, HBO is at the head of the line to purchase the script and they would likely turn it into a film for the network. Spielberg has a long history with HBO, and recently launched the WWII series The Pacific, serving as an executive producer.