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Carter Beats the Devil... finally on the big screen?

03.26.2010

Glen David Gold's book CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL hit bestseller status years ago, and has since been swirling in the mists of Hollywood's development hell.

Now it seems to have a new lease on life... or at least a new option on it. The author himself tells Film School Rejects that the novel was just optioned by Warner Bros.

Set in 1923 San Francisco, the acclaimed thriller follows magician "Carter the Great", who uses President Warren G. Harding as a volunteer in his act. When Harding mysteriously croaks a few hours later, investigators believe Harding shared a secret with him, but the magician is nowhere to be found.

The property has been on the brink before: way back in 2001, Tom Cruise held the rights and even had CHINATOWN screenwriter Robert Towne adapting the tale for Tom to potentially wear the turban.

Extra Tidbit: Cruise was reading a lot of period material around that time -- he planned an adaptation of the true WWII account "Ghost Soldiers" with Steven Spielberg, and "The War Magician", the true story of a WWII-era stage magician who is recruited by the British government to trick the Germans using magic. None have yet materialized on screen. Instead we get MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 4...

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