Johnny Depp has portrayed a number of famous historical personalities over the years – including, American filmmaker Ed Wood in Tim Burton’s movie of the same name, ‘20s era bank robber John Dillinger in Public Enemies, and journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas among others. With these roles under his belt – as well as many popular fictional characters – he has become one of the most successful and well-known character actors in Hollywood.
Now, Depp may tackle another historically famous and beloved character: the legendary magician, escape artist, and stunt performer, Harry Houdini.
THR reported that Depp is in negotiations with Lionsgate/Summit to star in their upcoming film, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. The movie will delve into both Houdini’s illusionist career, as well as his legacy of investigating and disproving spiritualists and the occult. (This version of Houdini’s story has been likened to an Indiana Jones-style adventure.)
Dean Parisot (Red 2) will direct and Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner) adapted the script from William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s original book of the same name. Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s producing partner at his production company Infinitum Nihil, is also in talks to produce the Houdini film, along with Frank Marshall (The Bourne Legacy) and Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook).
Though Depp has seen major box office success in the past with characters like Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame, his most recent films – Transcendence and The Lone Ranger – haven’t been as well received. His history has proved that he’s able to take familiar characters and create something original and entertaining – but are these most recent flops be the beginning of a new (and troubling) trend?
Fortunately, Depp has a slew of other films slated before The Secret Life of Houdini (if he does, in fact, take the role). Depp will revisit both Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter in upcoming sequels; he’s also playing the Wolf in the adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods stage musical, and is currently filming the gangster biopic, Black Mass (his next onscreen appearance as a lead will be in 2015’s caper flick, Mortdecai).
What do you think – does Depp have the experience to portray Houdini? Let us know in the comments!
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for new information about The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero.