Director Gary Ross Ready to Conjure 'Houdini' Spy Thriller Adaptation
Since The Hunger Games recently passed the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office, director Gary Ross is in the envious position of having the Hollywood clout to basically do whatever he wants. He passed on the sequel Catching Fire (a job that went to I Am Legend helmer Francis Lawrence), but it appears he has his sights set on something a bit more magical. THR reports that Ross in in talks with Summit to direct Houdini, a film based on the popular book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero, that will depict the famed magician as "part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes." Read on!
The premise revolves around Harry Houdini, the world-renowned escape artist, and his involvement with helping the Secret Service, local police organizations, and even whispers of him being a British spy. An early draft of the script was written by Catch Me If You Can writer Jeff Nathanson, but the newest incarnation of the story comes from Noah Oppenheim, who, if IMDB is to be believed, was a producer on "The Today Show" and will be making his screenwriting debut.
THR also points out the strange connection that Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence is working on his own film about Houdini, but the only details we have about that version is that it's supposed to be a period piece that "emphasizes his renowned showmanship." We'll see who pulls the rabbit out of the proverbial hat first, since apparently magician movies are having something of a comeback with Now You See Me and Burt Wonderstone coming soon. It's not clear if Houdini will be Ross' next project, but I'm looking forward to see what he ends up doing next because I really enjoyed The Hunger Games. Cool?