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.
Victor is forever trying to escape from locked trunks, to walk through walls, and to perform any number of Houdini’s astonishing magic tricks…without success. Then — amazingly — he meets his idol and begs Houdini to explain himself. A mysterious, locked box is the only answer, and Victor is left to wonder: Does the box contain the secrets of the most famous magic tricks ever performed?
From the creator of the Caldecott Medal-winning bestseller The Invention of Hugo Cabret comes this magical storybook that combines captivating mystery with mesmerizing historical fiction. Now, as a bonus at the end of the book, you will find a biographical note about Houdini, an illustrated magic trick, never-before-seen sketches by Brian Selznick, and more. The Houdini Box conjures up the pure pleasure of an old-time magic show. [Amazon]