History announced today that they has given the greenlight to their four-hour Houdini miniseries. Adrien Brody will play Houdini with Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) as Bess. Oscar nominee Uli Edel will direct the project, which is a Lionsgate/A&E Studios co-production. The executive producer is Gerald W. Abrams.
History has also confirmed my own sneaky little scoop that Houdini is written by Nicholas Meyer (whose father wrote the 1976 book, Houdini: A Mind in Chains).
Other crew include Patrizia von Brandenstein (Amadeus) as production designer and Karl Walter Lindenlaub as the cinematographer. Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs will oversee for History.
Production is set to begin in the fall.
Houdini follows the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.
"It's not magic that History has established a strong track record with its high-quality historical dramas from quality auspices. We’re excited to build on that tremendous momentum with Houdini," said Dirk Hoogstra at History. "The Great Harry Houdini is a fascinating man in history and I have no doubt that Adrien Brody will bring the magician’s riveting story to life for our audience."
|Kristen Connolly as Bess.|
Added Lionsgate Television Group president Kevin Beggs: "It's exciting to be working with History, Adrien and our extraordinary creative and producing partners on Houdini. We're also delighted to be expanding Lionsgate's overall relationship with A+E Networks."
The inclusion of Lionsgate as a co-producer is a surprising bit of news. Lionsgate had been developing their own Houdini project based on the book The Secret Life of Houdini. So what might this mean for that project?
This is awesome news. This marks their first new Houdini film production in five years and, yay, it's a biopic!
I'm going to need a bigger blog.