Houdini action film gains writer
Harry Houdini has never really had is fair share of screen time devoted to him, and I think that's a real shame, we've seen him appear as an ancillary character, we've seen him appear as a fictionalised account of himself, and we've seen films where the plot is nothing to do with the man we really want to learn more about. So when I first heard about the Harry Houdini action/adventure film, I was disappointed again.
I'm not sure which way this will go, but a new writer has been signed up for the film and it's the writer from Catch Me If You Can, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Filmstalker review), Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Terminal, Rush Hour 2 and 3, you get the idea.
I had already been a bit disheartened when the news came that the adaptation of The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) was to lead the studio to make an action/adventure story of Harry Houdini's life.
The novel does tell a rather interesting and controversial story about Houdini, suggesting that he was a spy for Britain, that was asked to be an adviser to the Czar Nicholas II, and that he was killed by psychics and spiritualists deliberately to stop him debunking them.
Although this story is exciting and rich, it's not really being used by the studio, and they are merely using it as basis for their action/adventure film featuring a famous magician at the forefront. It's hardly going to be about Harry Houdini and more a fictionalised cross between him and Indiana Jones.
According to IGN through First Showing, the rumour is that Jeff Nathanson is the man tasked with bringing this adventure to the screen, and while I'm sure it will have all the elements of the films he's made before, it's hot Harry Houdini.
It strikes me as bizarre that no one has seen the potential for some biographical films of his life.