Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot is currently in negotiations with Summit Entertainment to direct their Harry Houdini feature film. Summit has been trying to get this movie off the ground for years, and at different points of development directors Joe Wright and Gary Ross were both up to direct it. For one reason or another it didn't work out for either of them.
Parisot is a talented director who not only made the amazing sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest, but also recently finished working on Red 2, which also looks awesome. This Houdini film seems like it will be a good project for him to tackle. This could be a really fun movie.
The movie is an adaptation of the book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America's First Superhero written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. The name of the movie will be The Secret Life of Houdini.
The book dives into some interesting details about Houdini saying that he was a British spy, in cahoots with police organizations, and was even asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II's court in prerevolutionary Russia. The movie is set up over at Lionsgate, and they want to make an action-thriller in which Houdini will be portrayed as part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes. The latest draft of the script was written by Noah Oppenheim.
Here's the description of the book the film will be inspired by:
Using exclusive access to newly uncovered archives, Kalush and Sloman reveal the clandestine agreements in which the British and Americans recruited Houdini to be an active secret agent. In exchange for his cooperation, the governments of these two countries facilitated his rise to the top of the world stage. The authors give thrilling accounts of his assignments, such as his participation in early aerial surveillance and his use of his own magic magazine to communicate espionage-related information. After the war, Houdini embarked upon what became his most dangerous mission when he took on the Spiritualist movement. Convinced that Spiritualist mediums were frauds, he became obsessed with exposing them. But the Spiritualists were a powerful adversary. An organized network of fanatics, led by Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, worked relentlessly to orchestrate a campaign that would silence Houdini forever. Grounded in solid research, but as exciting and dramatic as a good thriller, THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI traces the magician's long and circuitous route from struggling vaudevillian to worldwide legend.