Dan Trachtenberg Joins the The Secret Life of Houdini Project

Posted by at 12:28 pm on November 29, 2016


Back in 2014, it was announced that Lionsgate was attempting to mount a fictionalized adaptation of the biography The Secret Life of Houdini starring Johnny Depp and directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy QuestRED 2). Now Deadline is reporting that the project is getting fresh blood in the form of young helmer Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) signing on to direct the adventure story featuring history’s most famous illusionist at its center.

First announced in 2009, the big-screen project is to be based on the 2006 book of the same name by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Published in 2006, it is officially described as follows:

Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.

“The Secret Life of Houdini” traces the arc of the master magician’’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame—, his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.

It was said when the project was first announced that the studio is not looking to make a biopic but rather an action thriller likened in tone to Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones franchise.

Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, Jason Bourne) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Silver Linings Playbook) are still attached to produce, with hot writer Noah Oppenheim (Jackie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, The Maze Runner) currently penning the script.


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