After the disappointing figures of his past two flicks (THE LONE RANGER and TRANSENDENCE) Johnny Depp turns to Houdini in an attempt to escape from box office woe.
The acclaimed actor is in talks with Lionsgate to star as the famed magician in the film THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S FIRST SUPERHERO.
Directed by RED 2’s Dean Parisot, the story is said to be Indiana Jones-esque, painting Houdini as not only a master escape artist, but also an investigator of the world of the occult.
The film premise has hovered on the horizon since 2009, when Summit (in its pre-Lionsgate acquisition days) snaffled the rights to William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s 2006 book, which is subtitled The Making Of America’s First Superhero.
The book centres around controversial claims that Houdini was actually an undercover agent. Kalush and Sloman make the case that Houdini not only worked with British Intelligence, but the US Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies at the turn of the 20th century, using his performance tours as a cover.
However, while the film will be taking considerable artistic licence, it appears to have chosen a slightly less sensational approach to the story.
More news as it develops!