I can really get onboard with Joe Wright directing the Houdini biopic, which is based on the book, The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman – or to call it by its full (awkward) title, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. It’s a very interesting read, you should get it.
Wright’s made quite an eclectic mix of films, such as Anna Karenina, The Soloist, Hanna and Atonement and I feel that he’ll bring a great visual style, and buck against the idea that the film should be like the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes films (shudder).
Lionsgate/Summit are currently developing the film, and Wright is only in negotiations at this point, but it’s a good sign. If played (w)right, then Houdini could walk the fine line between blockbuster and prestige picture – however, much depends on Noah Oppenheim’s script. The book covers a lot of material, and to condense it down into one feature would be creative and artistic suicide. The best way forward would be to pick certain events and save the rest for a potential sequel(s).
The Hunger Games director, Gary Ross was originally eyeing directing duties, but he has now left to work on (yawn) a Peter Pan origin story called Peter Pan and the Starcatchers. When will Hollywood learn that Peter Pan doesn’t really work as a live action film?
Keep reading Movies In Focus for more news on The Secret Life of Houdini.
Source: LA Times