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Saturday, November 2, 2013

First glimpse of Adrien Brody as Houdini

Recently the Houdini crew in Budapest shot scenes in the open city streets doubling for San Francisco. Now a photo from that shoot has appeared online (via a tumbler user) which provides our first glimpse of Adrien Brody as Houdini! It's distant, it's blurry, but you can still see Brody's (tall) Harry in front of the San Francisco Chronicle building. Preparing for a suspended straitjacket escape maybe?


Houdini stars Adrien Brody as Houdini and Kristen Connolly as Bess. The 4-hour miniseries is being directed by Uli Edel from a script by Nicholas Meyer. Houdini is an A&E Studios Lionsgate co-production. It will air over the course of two nights on HISTORY in 2014.

24 comments:

  1. Since Adrian Brody has been practicing magic since he was a young boy, I just know this is going to rock! Looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out! :-)

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  2. The fact that it's written by Nicholas Meyer is also a good sign. He writes fun yet smart stuff, such as The Seven-Percent Solution and two of the better Star Trek movies.

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    1. Yeah, I'm a big fan of Meyer's work. And his father wrote the book, Houdini A Mind in Chains (1976).

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  3. I didn't even know they were making a Houdini movie! Absolutely looking forward to it.

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    1. It just started shooting last month, Jason. I've been posting all the news I can find here. I've also launched an unofficial Facebook page.

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  4. Paging History Channel fact-checkers! A problem already! Harry did his SF straitjacket escape in front of the Hearst Building, home of The Chronicle's longtime rival, The Examiner. Wrong location!

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    1. Nice catch. But I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about historical inaccuracies like this. You know how it is.

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  5. If it weren't "The History Channel" I would agree with you. The old, original San Francisco Call building is still standing, and that would be more accurate since The Call did eventually merge with The Examiner.

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  6. Right, saw those great pix you took. This is clearly a case of the show's producer/director thinking two things at once: 1) They'll never know the difference; and, 2) Much better restaurants in San Francisco.

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    1. Well they are not shooting in SF or anywhere in the U.S. This is all being shot in Hungary. That photo is actually from Budapest.

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    2. I know everyone likes to think that everyone is Hollywood is either stupid or that Hollywood assumes the audience is stupid. However, locations managers aren't omnipotent. Some buildings you just can't get because the owners aren't willing or able to rent it to you, or it just wouldn't be practical to film there for whatever reason. You have to go with the location that is overall do-able, even if it means the peanut gallery on the internet will complain bitterly about "inaccuracies."

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    3. There are also other factors, such as legally clearing the use of a name. The Hearst Corp is still around and still owns the name "Examiner" so they'd probably have to pay for it. Chronicle might have been free and clear. At least they went with a real SF paper and didn't just invent a lame newspaper name.

      Or it could be the screenwriter got it wrong.

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    4. I think we've all gotten it backwards. Hearst sold The Examiner and bought The Chronicle in 2000. Hearst is also joint owner of the History channel. I now think this is officially ugly.

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    5. That just makes me think all the more that this is about name clearance and not a mistake. If Hearst/History/Chronicle are all part of the same corporation, no problems clearing the name and, better yet, they don't have to pay for it. Not ugly. Just economics.

      But, again, this kind of thing just doesn't bother me.

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    6. Another economic interpretation would be: "Let's ignore the historical facts because they would advertise the competition."

      Product placement is OK in entertainment programming, but taboo in non-fiction, in my opinion - unless it's the real product in the real context. In which case there's no need to clear rights, because historical facts are not ownable.

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  7. I don't think a movie has to be perfectly accurate, so I'm not saying this as a criticism. But I wondered if Houdini ever did advertise himself as the Great Houdini. I don't remember that phrase on a poster or handbill.

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  8. Ha! I was gong to mention that as well. He did not advertise himself as The Great Houdini. In fact, just yesterday I found a quote in which he specifically say he doesn't like being called "The Great Houdini". But it does show up on some adverting -- I can recall a "Houdini The Great" in Kellock -- but it's only on playbills, etc., that he didn't have control over.

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  9. I Googled images and found this; oddly, it's about his aviation exploits.

    http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/image/60571

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    1. Ah, very nice. But you see, he probably didn't have anything to do with this poster. Looks like it was done by the Racecourse.

      Check out page 103 in Kellock: "Houdini The Great".

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  10. Really hope this is good! I simply can't wrap my head around Adrien Brody as Houdini, but I'm hoping he wins me over.

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  11. I guess I'm supposed to ignore the fact that Brody is over half a foot taller and looks nothing like Houdini?

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    1. That could turn out to be the least of our problems with this miniseries. :s

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