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.
Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar. Since his death eighty years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.
The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame — his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend [Amazon].