Adrien Brody to play Harry Houdini in an upcoming History channel mini-series
History, like many cable networks, is venturing away from what the channel was initially designed to showcase and into the world of scripted television. With the huge success of their HATFIELDS & MCCOYS mini-series as well as THE BIBLE and VIKINGS, History may have found their next big project. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody has committed to star in History's mini-series based on the life of famous magician Harry Houdini.
To be directed by Uli Edel (THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX), HOUDINI will co-star Kristen Connolly (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, HOUSE OF CARDS) as Houdini's wife, Bess. The script for the four hour series comes from Nicholas Meyer. The film will start shooting this fall and will likely air in 2014. The story will follow the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.
Adrien Brody had this to say about the project:
“Since my childhood, when I dreamed of being a great magician, Harry Houdini has been one of my heroes. His bravery and obsessive determination still fascinate me. Houdini mastered the art of escape – not only from physical chains, but from poverty and the social constraints of a humble immigrant origin. His life story appeals to the universal longing for acceptance with which we all can identify. To portray him is beyond an honor.”
I myself was obsessed with Houdini as a kid. We have had very few movies that have done a good job portraying prestidigitation, the exceptions being Christopher Nolan's THE PRESTIGE and Neil Burger's THE ILLUSIONIST. HOUDINI, if given the same budget as HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, could be another must see. Having Brody as the headliner certainly helps as well.