According to Deadline.com, Dreamworks has bought scribe J. Michael Straczynski's original spec script VOICES FROM THE DEAD. The film is a fictional account of Harry Houdini and "Sherlock Holmes" author Arthur Conan Doyle and their teaming up with a psychic to solve bizarre murders in 1920s New York. Deadline notes that the two men actually were friends in real life (pictured right), but the other business is pure fantasy.
This kind of alternate-history concept seems to be popping up a lot lately in the thriller/horror genre (see: THE RAVEN). Dunno if I'm into it, but I guess it can only be taken on a case-by-case basis. This one sounds mildly interesting, but it all depends on the cast and director...
Most will know J. Michael Straczynski solely as the creator of "Babylon 5", but he's been a successful writer for almost 30 years. Starting in TV with cartoons like "He-Man" and "She-Ra", Straczynski eventually worked his way into live-action television, penning scripts for "The Twilight Zone" (the 80s version, of course) and "Murder, She Wrote".
In recent years, Straczynski has written films like NINJA ASSASSIN, CHANGELING and the upcoming THOR. He was the first scribe hired to adapt WORLD WAR Z, but has since been replaced by Matthew Michael Carnahan.
Angelina Jolie, from CHANGELING