Friday, February 18, 2011

Secret Life of Houdini movie makes a timely reappearance

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Summit Entertainment has hired Noah Oppenheim to write The Secret Life of Houdini, the first film in what they hope will be an "action franchise" featuring Houdini’s fictional exploits as a spy for the British and U.S. governments.

Summit picked up the rights to the biography by William Kalush and Larry Sloman amid great fanfare in March 2009. It was then quickly announced that Jeff Nathanson had signed on to write and direct. That was the last word on the project. THR says Nathanson is no longer involved.

Perhaps the news last week that DreamWorks and SyFy were developing their own Houdini projects helped give the long stalled project a kick in the straitjacket.

Oppenheim previously worked on the script for the teen adventure adaptation Maze Runners. Summit's Erik Feig, Geoff Shaevitz, and Ashley Schlaifer, who originally brought the book to the Summit, will oversee the project for the studio.


  1. I hope these projects turn out to be GOOD Houdini entertainment and not another "Death Defying Acts" which I just couldn't stand (though maybe I'm alone on that). FAIRY TALE the Movie was a fictionalized account of something from Houdini and Conan Doyle's life and though it probably wouldn't have thrilled Houdini if he were alive, I loved it. So it can be done well. I'm hoping for done well, or well done.

  2. IF any of them even get done. So many of these just get swallowed up in Development Hell. I will be surprised if any of these get made.

  3. Why don't they wait until they have at least got it up and running before telling everybody? Are they hoping someone will throw a bucket of cash at them or something?

  4. I've just gone back and read all the others so that's three in the last month. If they don't get made then that's a lot of ... not much

  5. Perhaps it's just my jaded view of the world, but maybe the problem is that some of these people don't really have a genuine interest in the life and work of Houdini.

    They might just be looking for a way to cash in on a man whose fame has continued long after his death.

  6. I think you have a point there, Raymond. Also, all these fictional treatments...why? Maybe if they tried to make a real biopic they'd have more luck and it would draw more interest. Do we really need another spy in the cinema? But the true story of Houdini...that is what grips the imagination of every school kid at some point. That's the story that needs to me made, IMO.