There have been multiple movies based on the life of illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini, but the most intriguing and longest-developing one is based on the book, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. The adaptation of William Kalush and Larry Sloman's novel has been in the works for years, and last we heard Dean Parisot was going to direct with Johnny Depp in the role. But that's over now as a new director has come aboard and it's Dan Trachtenberg, who scored a hit earlier this year with 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Trachtenberg has entered talks to direct the film which explores his need to attempt increasingly dangerous feats, but also claims he was an international spy, dabbled in the occult, and worked for the Secret Service. The script was written by Noah Oppenheim, who is generating buzz over his screenplay for Jackie.
This is a more exciting choice than Parisot would have been, that's for sure. But it does seem like this film has lost a lot of its luster over the years. Gary Ross and Joe Wright were attached back when it had the whiff of a major prestige picture. Not so sure that's the case anymore but I am curious to see what Trachtenberg can do working on a different scale. [Deadline]