New Writer Hired for Summit's Harry Houdini Action Movie

May 21, 2009
Source: IGN

Harry Houdini

A few days ago, I mentioned that I'm always inherently interest in movies about magicians, and here's another one. Summit previously announced that they were adapting a biography of escape artist Harry Houdini, not to make a biopic but "rather an action thriller featuring a character who is part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes." Most people balked at that, but I decided to reserve any judgment until I knew more about it. IGN has learned that Catch Me If You Can and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull writer Jeff Nathanson will write the Houdini project for Summit, which could be very good news for the project.

The book that the film is based on, titled "The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero," became known for insinuating that Harry Houdini acted as a spy for Britain and was asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II's court in pre-revolutionary Russia. The book also portrayed the magician as a debunker of con artists who pretended to be spiritualists, leading to the controversial theory that Houdini's death was caused by the spiritual movement as payback. Remember, this is just being used as inspiration for what will be a Houdini action flick. I don't think I need to say that I'm already excited.

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Please make it better than Death Defying Acts.

birddog on May 21, 2009


why does it need to be an action film? Make it a tight drama, but have it look like it was filmed in his time. No HD cameras allowed. Dust off the old 8, 16 and 35mm. The Illusionist had some off those elements of making it look old...fogged lens, mutted murky colours.

wm on May 21, 2009


I wonder you will punch him in the gut? and who will play J. Gordon Whitehead? and who will play Harry Houdini?

xerxex on May 21, 2009


This sounds awfully like 'Dust and mirrors'. One of the best scripts that was never produced. It had Sean Connery on board to play the lead part before it hit the skids.

John J on May 22, 2009


You mean "Smoke and Mirrors," Which was based on Jean Robert-Houdin, not Houdini. (Robert-Houdin was a rockstar-famous magician who Houdini patterned himself after.) P.S., the real Houdini WAS a debunker of spiritualists after his mother died. He was also a silent movie star, and the first man to fly a plane in Australia.

Eric W on May 22, 2009


This sounds horrible. How about a straight-up drama about his life without all the BS?

WyldKard on Jun 5, 2009


I hope this movie either does a smashing job or doesn't make it to production. If it bombs, it will be hard to convince the studios that a big-budget Houdini biopic is commercially viable. And if this does get made after all, I REALLY hope this movie turns out to be better than "Death Defying Acts" (which made me puke), or even "The Prestige" (which I loved). This movie had better be effing awesome, or not made at all.

datalal624 on Aug 21, 2009

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