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Houdini movie back on track with 10 Cloverfield Lane director attached

11.29.2016

Today, most young folks got their introduction into the world of magic either from fantastical works of fiction like HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS, or from knowing that weird kid in grade school who pulled a rabbit out his hat for show and tell (no one’s impressed, Kevin!). But what seems like magic is just an illusion, and the most famous of these real illusionists/warlocks is no doubt Harry Houdini, who became famous for elaborate stunts and feats before his death in 1926 at age 52. His life has been adapted in countless projects, but it’s time for a great modern iteration of the legend, and we’ll get one courtesy of the director of one this year’s best films.

Dan Trachtenberg, director of this year’s 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, has been tapped to direct the film version of the book, THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S FIRST SUPERHERO, according to Deadline. The project was first brought to light in 2014 when Johnny Depp was set to star and GALAXY QUEST's Dean Parisot to direct, but that project seemed to have vanished into thin air, resulting in many “ooohs” and “aahhhs” from the audience.

But now the project is back on track with Trachtenberg at the helm with a script from JACKIE writer Noah Oppenheim and producers Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen (AMERICAN BEAUTY). Though the movie will probably cover Houdini’s life as a master illusionist, word is the story could focus mainly on Houdini’s mostly forgotten work as a spy and “adventurer and investigator of the occult.” No word yet on if the team would still be interested in having Depp play the legend, or on who would replace him if not, but I can imagine the audition process having to do with escaping a vat of water filled with sharks.

The last major adaptation of Houdini’s life that I can remember was the History Channel miniseries HOUDINI starring Adrien Brody back in 2014, but I never got around to seeing that. That being said I’m very much looking forward to this film as I'm a big admirer of what Trachtenberg did with LANE, and JACKIE is one of my most anticipated of the holiday season. There’s a lot of meat here in Houdini’s story so I’m sure they’ll deliver us something sensational. That or they’ll take the "adventurer" angle too far and have Houdini fighting demons with a witty sidekick. Eh, I’d still see it.

Trachtenberg’s 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is out on Blu-ray now, and catch Oppenheim’s JACKIE on December 2.

Source: Deadline

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