Monday, January 13, 2014

Sony conjures a new screenwriter for 'Houdini'

Looks like Sony's Houdini movie is still alive with Deadline Hollywood reporting that Chronical screenwriter Max Landis (son of director John Landis) has been hired to work on a new draft of the film being produced by Jimmy Miller.

Deadline says the the story is being told "with an H.P. Lovecraft influence" and that "this gives new momentum to the pic." I revealed last year that the Sony project included a large element of the supernatural with Chung Ling Soo playing a pivotal role. It's unclear if Francis Lawrence is still attached to direct.

Curiously, Deadline also says that Summit/Lionsgate is still moving forward with their own Houdini project based on the Kalush/Sloman book, The Secret Life Of Houdini, and that "there were rumors Johnny Depp was interested." But with Lionsgate co-producing this year's Houdini miniseries with A&E and HISTORY, I would be surprised to see them launch a second Houdini project that would compete with themselves (Lionsgate and Summit merged in 2012).

Of course, the Sony/Columbia Houdini movie has been in development for many, many years (45 to be exact), so I wouldn't get excited about this just yet.

Click here for a list of all the Houdini projects currently in development in Hollywood.



  1. An H.P. Lovecraft influence? Didn't he ghostwrite for Houdini too? How appropriate. :)

    Well, here's hoping something comes of this...

    1. Yep, Lovecraft penned a few stories for HH, including Under The Pyramids. But I think this is just a way of saying that this project has an element of the supernatural, which is what I spilled last year.

      But I'm not sure Francis Lawrence is still attached to direct, and news of a new writer is not really a step forward. This thing is still clearly marooned in development hell. But it would be nice to see something happen.