Director Gary Ross Ready to Conjure 'Houdini' Spy Thriller Adaptation

May 2, 2012
Source: THR


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?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



There was a Guy Pearce Houdini film a few years back for which I saw an early screening, and which pretty much disappeared into obscurity, rightfully so.  The movie didn't focus enough on Houdini, but instead on some bullshit love story that had nothing to do with him and his life.  As for this, this sounds like another attempt to use historical/literary figures and turn them into adventure characters.  They are following the model of Indiana Jones and Jack Sparrow films, using a central character in period piece adventure/mysteries.  The latest incarnation was that bullshit Poe film with John Cusack which has shown that this formula is stale and inept.  This project dead before its started. 

Bobo_Vision on May 2, 2012


  Harry Houdini as a spy is okay...but Lincoln as a Vampire hunter is crazy?

Xerxexx on May 2, 2012


I didn't think the Hunger Games was all that great to be honest - can't believe it made that much money! The ending was just a bit rubbish... Catch Me If You Can on the other hand is an absolute classic and a total favourite of mine, so anything based on that can't be bad I guess

CCTV on May 9, 2012

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