10 Cloverfield Lane Director Takes on Houdini Movie


After following up the success of 10 Cloverfield Lane with an episode of Black Mirror, it looks like director Dan Trachtenberg is potentially moving away from science-fiction for his next big screen project. He is reportedly close to signing on to direct a movie about master illusionist and legendary escape artist Harry Houdini. There have been quite a few Houdini movies made over the years, but with magic now having a sudden resurgence on screen thanks to Now You See Me and Doctor Strange, it would seem that this new project will attempt to turn the man into an action hero of sorts. Hit the jump to find out what we know about this rather unconventional Houdini biopic.

According to Deadline, Dan Trachtenberg is in talks to direct a film about Harry Houdini for Lionsgate. The script was written by Noah Oppenheim (Jackie, The Maze Runner), based on William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. A couple of years ago, Johnny Depp was attached to star and Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) was on board to direct, but they have since exited the project.

The book explores some of Houdini’s secret life as a spy, but it sounds like the movie will take things a step further by re-envisioning him an adventurer and investigator of the occult as well. That sounds more than a little inspired by Marvel’s Doctor Strange and also the upcoming Mandrake the Magician movie starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Either way, it certainly sounds like it will embellish on Houdini’s true life story but exactly to what extent is not yet clear. Do you have any interest in a new Harry Houdini movie and who would you like to see in the lead role?

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  • Matt the Kiwi

    I’ve read the book and loved it (and in turn became a massive admirer of Houdini). It’s ridiculous to say ‘investigator of the occult’ as that gives the impression he advocated that nonsense. The opposite is true! He spent the latter part of his life (and his fortune) debunking psychics, pseudo science and general quackery. He engaged in a very public feud with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (publishing their exchanges in National newspapers) as Doyles wife was a “renowned pshycic”. He also believed in fairies. The book even speculates that the psychic community conspired to have Houdini killed (it makes sense when you read how) as he was costing them millions. God I hope that is the movie we get!

  • marto kim
  • marto kim