In March, Screen Rant reported that Summit Media had acquired the rights to the controversial Houdini biography, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero.
At the time, Summit Media indicated they wanted to produce a more action-oriented story about Harry Houdini, featuring the famous magician as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer. Given Summit’s vision for the film, it is unsurprising to report the company has tapped Jeff Nathanson to write and direct the Houdini movie.
Nathanson, who most recently penned Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, also wrote the screenplays for Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3. Considering that the plot of The Secret Life of Houdini revolved around the magician’s alleged work as a British spy, it is good to see someone experienced in the action genre helming the picture. Of course, Nathanson also wrote Speed 2: Cruise Control, so it’s probably fair to say that no one knows what to expect.
If done correctly, an action-oriented Houdini movie could become something along the lines of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes adaptation, which is already generating substantial buzz. In fact, given the public’s inherent fascination with Houdini (who is arguably more popular than Sherlock Holmes anyway), a well-produced Houdini movie could be a major hit.
What do you think of an action-oriented Houdini movie? Is Jeff Nathanson the right guy for this project? Any casting suggestions for the “Handcuff King”?
The Houdini movie is currently in development. No word yet on a release date.