We’ve got news concerning two upcoming adaptations to share this evening. First up, Variety reports that Chernin Entertainment has set Kealan O’Rourke to write and direct an adaptation of the young adult novel The Houdini Box. Written by Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick, the story centers on a young boy who idolizes the titular magician, meets him by chance, and then receives an invitation to go to Houdini’s house where he learns that the magician has recently died and left the young boy a mysterious box. O’Rourke’s experience is primarily with short films, but he’s currently developing his short The Boy in the Bubble as an animated feature and is set to write and direct an animated adaptation of the graphic novel Bolivar.
No word on how soon Houdini Box will come to fruition, but it’s one of a few Houdini-centered projects in development at the moment. Hit the jump for news concerning a new screenwriter for Chronicle director Josh Trank’s video game adaptation Shadow of the Colossus, and a full synopsis for The Houdini Box.
Add another Harry Houdini project to pile. In addition to the adaptation of The Secret Life of Houdini with Gary Ross attached to direct, Columbia’s Houdini, and the Aaron Sorkin/Hugh Jackman original stage musical iteration of the famous magician, Chernin Entertainment is throwing their hat into the ring with an adaptation of The Houdini Box. Per Variety, the studio has acquired the rights to Hugo author Brian Selznick’s YA book, which centers on a young boy who idolizes the magician, meets him by chance, and then receives an invitation to go to Houdini’s house where he learns that the magician has recently died and left the young boy a mysterious box.
It’s obviously early days on this project, and how knows if it’ll ever make it past the development stage, but a Houdini story geared toward kids in the vein of Hugo might actually make for a rather exciting adaptation. The other Houdini projects are still percolating, but should Ross commit to Secret Life of Houdini as his next film, that project has the best chance of coming to the big screen first. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for The Houdini Box.