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Noah Oppenheim To Adapt 'The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 22, 2011 at 5:43AM

What's better than one Houdini project in development? Two! True to Hollywood form, just under two weeks after it was announced that DreamWorks had picked up the spec script from “Changeling” writer J. Michael Straczynski entitled “Voices From The Dead,” which focuses on the crime fighting duo of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who were buds in real life), Summit has now started movement on their own film about the famed magician.
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What's better than one Houdini project in development? Two! True to Hollywood form, just under two weeks after it was announced that DreamWorks had picked up the spec script from “Changeling” writer J. Michael Straczynski entitled “Voices From The Dead,” which focuses on the crime fighting duo of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who were buds in real life), Summit has now started movement on their own film about the famed magician.

THR reports that hot scribe Noah Oppenheim -- who penned "Jackie" that had Darren Aronofsky circling with ex-flame Rachel Weisz; and has the tentpole "Maze Runners" in the works for 20th Century Fox -- has been hired to adapt "'The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero" that Summit picked up the rights for back in 2009.

Written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, the book purports that "Houdini acted as a spy for Britain, was in cahoots with police organizations, and was asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II's court in prerevolutionary Russia." Sounds like it has the makings for an interesting movie right? Well too bad folks, because Summit is gonna turn this into yet another action pic. With comparisons being made to "Indiana Jones" and "Sherlock Holmes," the film will tell the story of Houdini's "rise as a magician along with his covert involvement with the Secret Service." We think the the straight biopic sounds far more interesting rather than tarting it up with action setpieces but what do we know?

So, put this down as yet another race between rival properties. Who will emerge first? We'll have to wait and see.

This article is related to: Noah Oppenheim


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