Briefly: Another story that is the subject of several different development projects is the life of Harry Houdini. One movie that hopes to exploit his story is the Columbia project simply called Houdini, which for the past few months has had Francis Lawrence (Water For Elephants, I Am Legend) attached to direct. Last time we checked in there was no screenwriter attached, but that all changes now. Scott Frank has been hired to write. (He penned Out of Sight and Minority Report, among other films.)

THR has this news, but doesn’t offer any more significant detail about the project other than the fact that it has been kicking around Columbia in different forms for some time, and that Francis Lawrence and producer Jimmy Miller helped push it forward with their own ‘fresh take.’ What is that take? We don’t know. I love Houdini, and think he is truly one of the most fascinating figures from the turn of the century, but the competition to make a new film based on his life arouses no particular excitement. Mostly because I assume that, in the race to get one project done first, the only thing that will really matter is going to end up being just that: being first.

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