It appears that Summit has finally zeroed in on a director for the long-gestating magician pic Houdini. One of several films about the legendary magician currently in development, Summit’s project is based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman book The Secret Life of Houdini, which portrays the magician as more of an action/adventure hero in the vein of Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes and posits that the master magician “acted as a spy for Britain, helped the Secret Service, and was in cahoots with police organizations.” Gary Ross initially flirted with the project as his post-Hunger Games film but eventually fell off, and now Deadline reports that Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot is in early talks with Summit to take the helm.
Parisot most recently directed Red 2 for Summit, and early word has been incredibly positive on the action-comedy sequel. Houdini is envisioned as a possible franchise-starter, and I have to say Parisot is quite an inspired choice. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the source material.
Though it was sad to see Gary Ross leave the Hunger Games franchise after only one film, I was excited to see what the director would choose as his follow-up in the wake of the massive success of that franchise-starter. He circled a few projects, including the adventure film The Secret Life of Houdini and a Peter Pan prequel called Peter and the Starcatchers, and it now appears that Ross has settled on the latter as his post-Hunger Games directorial project. Hit the jump for more.
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.