Harry_Houdini

 

Harry Houdini has the subject of much interest in Hollywood for the past couple of years, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at your local theater listings. We’ve barely heard a peep about Summit’s Houdini spy film since Dean Parisot entered talks to direct last summer, and DreamWorks doesn’t seem to have done much with Voices From the Dead since buying it in 2011.

Sony’s competing project doesn’t seem to be very far along, either, but it is at least moving. Chronicle scribe Max Landis has reportedly been tapped to do yet another rewrite of the screenplay. Hit the jump for the latest on the film

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Breaking Bad - Mike

Following in the footsteps of his old boss Gus, Mike will drop by Greendale in the next season of Community. Also after the jump:

  • Game of Thrones recasts one of its roles for Season 4
  • Lee Daniels is circling a Sammy Davis Jr. movie for HBO
  • History greenlights Houdini mini with Adrien Brody
  • FX is developing a Louie-style comedy for DL Hughley
  • Sony is adapting Robert Rodriguez‘s El Mariachi for TV
  • See trailers for Yahoo series from Ed Helms, Jack Black, and more

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The Simpsons Breaking Bad couch gag

Netflix’s awesomely playful campaign for Season 4 of Arrested Development continues with a banana-flavored Easter egg. Also after the jump:

  • The CW moves Cult from Fridays to never
  • Starz sets a premiere date for Magic City
  • Being Human gets renewed by Syfy
  • Jamie Foxx will direct horror for Syfy
  • … and see what else the network has planned
  • Adrien Brody is History’s Harry Houdini
  • Ryan Murphy‘s new drama heads to HBO
  • Jason Bateman says “Manage your expectations”
  • See The Simpsons‘ homage to Breaking Bad
  • … and Family Guy‘s nod to King of the Hill

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Aaron Sorkin‘s new career as a librettist has been cancelled, or at least postponed. The in-demand writer has backed out of Houdini, the Broadway musical production that has Hugh Jackman attached to star as the world-famous magician. (Cue the escape artist jokes.) Jackman, composer Steven Schwartz (Wicked), director Jack O’Brien (Hairspray), and producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell remain on board. Keep reading after the jump.

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For a while there, it seemed all but certain that The Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross would return for the sequel, Catching Fire. But that, of course, didn’t pan out, and with Francis Lawrence now firmly positioned in the director’s chair for that film, Ross is weighing a few different options for his next move.

Among other things, he’s just entered talks for Summit’s Houdini, an adaptation of William Kalush and Larry Sloman‘s biography The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. Ironically enough, this project could pit him against his Hunger Games successor Lawrence, who’s attached to Columbia’s unrelated Houdini project. More after the jump.

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That Hugh Jackman loves musicals and the theater isn’t a secret, so it’s not surprising that he’s set to make his return to Broadway in the 2013-2014 season. What makes this particular appearance extra special, however, is that he’ll be hitting the stage as the lead of Houdini, the librettist debut of Aaron Sorkin. (This is a completely separate project from the other Houdini, a film by director Francis Lawrence.) Three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien is slated to direct, with Stephen Schwartz writing the music. More details after the jump.

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Francis Lawrence May Direct a Houdini Film For Sony

Briefly: Since it seems like everything in Hollywood comes in packs of three or more these days, Sony has revived plans to make a Harry Houdini film. Francis Lawrence (Water For Elephants, I Am Legend) is now in talks to direct the film that once had Paul Verhoeven set to direct. Read More »

One of the most interesting pop culture stories from the early days of the 20th century is the friendship between Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Spiritualism was all the rage at the time — think seances, levitations, speaking to the dead, and so forth, driven in part by people hoping to reconnect with loved ones killed in WWI. Houdini was an outspoken anti-Spiritualist who worked for Scientific American exposing fake mediums. Doyle, meanwhile, was a serious Spiritualist, driven in part by grief at the death of his wife. (Perhaps ironically, Houdini’s stance against Spiritualism came in part from curiosity about the practice after the death of his mother.)

And yet the two became real friends, at least for a time. There is a good amount of literature on their friendship and, frankly, I’m surprised no one has ever made a film or TV show exploiting their shared history. Now DreamWorks might, as the studio has picked up Voices From the Dead, a script by J. Michael Straczynski that uses the mens’ friendship as the basis for a supernatural thriller. Read More »

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