Summit Taps Noah Oppenheim to Write Houdini Action Film THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI

     February 18, 2011


It looks like a couple of Harry Houdini projects may soon be battling it out in a movie theater near you. Just last week we told you that DreamWorks was developing a film version of the book Voice From the Dead, which pits Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle as detectives solving mysteries in 1920’s New York. Now Summit has moved forward on their Houdini pic, The Secret Life of Houdini. Based on William Kalush’s book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, the film will turn Houdini into an action/adventure hero (think Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes).

The project has long been in the works, with Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) writing the script back in 2009. Heat Vision reports that Summit now has Noah Oppenheim writing a draft. Oppenheim previously worked on the script for the teen adventure adaptation Maze Runners for director Catherine Hardwicke, but did not work on the atomic bomb. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel, which purports that Houdini was a spy for Britain.

the-secret-life-of-houdini-book-coverHere’s the synopsis for The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero:

Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar. Since his death eighty 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 [Amazon].

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