Let The Show Begin: Magician Films
by Alex Billington
October 26, 2006
After the recent opening of the incredible movie The Prestige (which I caught again for a second time just last night), and also with the great independent Edward Norton film The Illusionist from a few months back, it's no doubt that this is the beginning of what may be a new trend of magician films. And obviously before long there has to be a film about the great, and probably the most recognized magician in history, Harry Houdini. However, a new upcoming movie, currently untitled, takes a new twist, and in the end probably for the worst. It's an "adventure" (the eyes start rolling now) about a 14-year-old (now everyone's been lost) who discovers he's a descendent of Houdini and "embarks on a journey" to discover a legacy.
The producing company is Walden Media, the same company that often does cheap not-so-fun films like Holes, Around the World in 80 Days (that one with Jackie Chan), Chronicles of Narnia, Hoot, How to Eat Fried Worms, this year's Charlotte's Web and the upcoming Bridge to Terabithia. Walden is actually a major book publisher of these children's classics, but has recently been quite involved in producing films. The director on the project is Mark Waters, who has previously directed Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, and Just Like Heaven. That right there concerns me and now all hope is lost for something even remotely good.
With this magician trend that although is being picked up and made into this cheesy film, will it maybe bring out some other greats like The Prestige and The Illusionist from this year? Especially because magicians of all eras have had very lasting impacts. I really want to see a full Houdini biopic in today's Hollywood with similar production and excellence that went into The Prestige. And on top of that I can just name tons more magicians from history that deserve a biopic or even fictionalized "adventure." We'll just have to see if this trend takes off and continues on and if it'll dive downward quickly or build some greater momentum in the next year.
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