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Screenwriter Max Landis is working on a Houdini script with a Lovecraftian influence

Jan. 13, 2014by:
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Have you been waiting for a proper movie about legendary illusionist Harry Houdini? There's been TV movies, B movies, and there was supposed to be a mini-series with Adrien Brody that focused on Houdini. The point is that there's never been a major motion picture that has successfully brought him to life.

Sony has hired Max Landis to work on a new draft of their HOUDINI flick. Here's something of interest to note-- sources say that the script is influenced by HP Lovecraft. I can actually see this working as long as Houdini isn't matched up with Cthulhu, though I'd probably be really interested in that if it were a thing.

Let's put it this way: this could be something really good or really bad. I get all the visions of Lovecraftian imagery and influence which are ultimately at war with each other when a subject like Houdini is introduced into the picture. I'll give Landis CHRONICLE which is all I have to go on aside from an episode of the series FEAR ITSELF.

Landis still has a couple of projects on the way like FRANKENSTEIN with Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy as well as AMERICAN ULTRA with Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg.

Source: Deadline

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10:31PM on 01/13/2014
That does sound like an interesting premise; not a fan of Landis as a person from the things he's said on camera or written about (he's done a lot of both) but he's got talent and has some interesting ideas for sure. There's this film called Death-Defying acts that fictionalises the last days of Houdini, and stars Guy Pearce as the magician, with Catherine-Zeta Jones as a con artist who falls in love with him and Saoirse Ronan as her daughter. It's not great or even all that good and the
That does sound like an interesting premise; not a fan of Landis as a person from the things he's said on camera or written about (he's done a lot of both) but he's got talent and has some interesting ideas for sure. There's this film called Death-Defying acts that fictionalises the last days of Houdini, and stars Guy Pearce as the magician, with Catherine-Zeta Jones as a con artist who falls in love with him and Saoirse Ronan as her daughter. It's not great or even all that good and the alternate history angle is kinda silly but it is kinda romantic, there's a decent amount of period detail and all three leads are okay.
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3:11AM on 01/14/2014

Eh, I don't know...

If it has supernatural elements to it, Houdini will be rolling in his grave.
If it has supernatural elements to it, Houdini will be rolling in his grave.
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1:03AM on 01/14/2014
Lovecraft wrote a short about Houdini called Under the Pyramids: [link]
Lovecraft wrote a short about Houdini called Under the Pyramids: [link]
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1:17AM on 01/14/2014
Thanks for sharing that, it sounds like excellent material to be expanded upon in an adventure flick.
Thanks for sharing that, it sounds like excellent material to be expanded upon in an adventure flick.
11:59PM on 01/13/2014
No doubting the man's talented; Fox were idiots to take him off the CHRONICLE sequel. I'd be interested in seeing what he does next.
No doubting the man's talented; Fox were idiots to take him off the CHRONICLE sequel. I'd be interested in seeing what he does next.
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3:16AM on 01/14/2014
Sometimes, tall tales are fun. However, Hollywood should accept the following challenge more often. Produce a true-to-life and realistic biopic that is sure to be successful. Abraham Lincoln does not need to be a vampire hunter, necessarily. Nor does this or that historical icon need to be a zombie hunter or alien or whatever. Bubba Ho-Tep was fun. But, we moviefans are getting too many Bubba Ho-Tep imitators that might be insults to our intelligence. Seemingly, in Hollywood's mind, young
Sometimes, tall tales are fun. However, Hollywood should accept the following challenge more often. Produce a true-to-life and realistic biopic that is sure to be successful. Abraham Lincoln does not need to be a vampire hunter, necessarily. Nor does this or that historical icon need to be a zombie hunter or alien or whatever. Bubba Ho-Tep was fun. But, we moviefans are getting too many Bubba Ho-Tep imitators that might be insults to our intelligence. Seemingly, in Hollywood's mind, young people can only appreciate history if tacky special effects and an OTT ghost story accompany that history. I hope that Landis' Houndini is not another example of this latest trend.
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3:02AM on 01/15/2014

Why do I get the feeling this movie won't make it?

Lovecraft stories feel like a great untapped resource Hollywood has yet to use. With Mountain of Madness being discarded and Fox kicking Landis off Chronicle 2, I'd be amazed if this movie got made. Max Landis is way too smart, WB really should have used him in someway with their DC properities. I hope he gets his due like Duncan Jones and Neill Blompkamp.
Lovecraft stories feel like a great untapped resource Hollywood has yet to use. With Mountain of Madness being discarded and Fox kicking Landis off Chronicle 2, I'd be amazed if this movie got made. Max Landis is way too smart, WB really should have used him in someway with their DC properities. I hope he gets his due like Duncan Jones and Neill Blompkamp.
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8:55AM on 01/14/2014
Is Hollywood keeping an eye on my reading material? Seems every time I read a book I hear a film is in the works straight after finishing! Just read Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids with Harry Houdini last week, and now this. Happened before with Lost City of Z, Ender's Game, Altered Carbon... bizarre!
Don't know much about Houdini, but the Lovecraft aspect intrigues me. There needs to be more Cthulhu related films out there, especially since ATMOM will probably never happen now :(
Is Hollywood keeping an eye on my reading material? Seems every time I read a book I hear a film is in the works straight after finishing! Just read Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids with Harry Houdini last week, and now this. Happened before with Lost City of Z, Ender's Game, Altered Carbon... bizarre!
Don't know much about Houdini, but the Lovecraft aspect intrigues me. There needs to be more Cthulhu related films out there, especially since ATMOM will probably never happen now :(
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