Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sony's Houdini project gets a writer and a familiar plot

Looks like one of the five competing Houdini projects in Hollywood is getting a writer. The Hollywood Reporter reports that screenwriter Scott Frank (Minority Report, Marley & Me) is in talks to write the Houdini movie set-up at Sony/Columbia Pictures. That's the good news.

The bad news is some plot details have been revealed, and it appears Columbia is heading down the well-trodden road of fiction instead of fact. According to the article, the film "will center on Harry Houdini‘s attempts to discredit a beautiful spiritualist, although he becomes obsessed with her and starts to believe she is actually the real deal."

So, basically, it's the same plot as Death Defying Acts. And we all saw how well that worked out. Ironically, The Hollywood Reporter says Columbia was convinced to revive the Houdini project by this "fresh take."

I confess, I'm pretty disappointed. I really hoped this film was going to be more of a true biopic, which would have separated it from the other projects, all of which are fictional takes. I'm also disappointed that most of the current Houdini projects in development focus on his spirit debunking instead of his career as a death-defying escape artist.

Jimmy Miller will produce through his Mosaic Media production company. Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants) is attached to direct.

UPDATE: I now have it on pretty good authority that this plot description is incorrect. However, the plot that I heard (which I'm not at liberty to reveal) is even more fanciful and fictionalized.

8 comments:

  1. Far out. Do they not think the other angle will sell? I don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Death Defying Acts 2. Wonderful, if Houdini were alive today, he'd jump off a bridge FOR REAL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cue impossibly good-looking and sexy spiritualist medium and watch the hapless Houdini fall under her spell (and the nutters win again, thank you Margery).

    ReplyDelete
  4. The real Houdini story is extraordinary ....
    .... why does fiction always win out?
    Lets put all this hard work into re-working something, all this money into re-working something & because of this hard work, being very clever, we feel worthy now .... so now we can produce it ...... simply take the real story & produce it .... ohhhhhh no we can't do that!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Essentially, Houdini has become a fictional character like Sherlock Holmes, and is subject to all kinds of literary and filmic treatments. He has joined the craposphere -- that part of the pop culture's atmosphere where everything is potentially turned to crap.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But there is apparently an endless market for crap. I think you are onto something there.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have it on pretty good authority that this plot description is incorrect. However, the plot that I heard (which I'm not at liberty to reveal) is even more fanciful and fictionalized.

    ReplyDelete
  8. magicismedicine.org

    ReplyDelete

Translate

Receive updates via email