Home Entertainment Gary Ross straps on a straight-jacket for a new Harry Houdini, secret agent film

Gary Ross straps on a straight-jacket for a new Harry Houdini, secret agent film

1 min read

Writer-Director Gary Ross may no longer be interested in working on any sequels for the mega popular Hunger Games right now, but that doesn’t mean that he’s getting ready to throw in the towel on making new movies.

Ross is however, partnering up with Hunger Games producer Summit Entertainment, for a new take on the greatest escape artist of all time, Harry Houdini.Summit bought the rights to a certain book about the famed magician, back in 2009, that was written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. The Secret Life Of Houdini, The Making Of America’s First Superhero, which hit shelves back in 2006, made a bit of a stir when released, due to the fact that it alledged that the master escape artist was also an undercover agent for various American and British organizations.

Summit is looking at carving out a new franchise for themselves, by turning the famed master of straight-jackets into a James Bond and Indiana Jones hero, just with more, y’know…magic.  The idea behind the new movie will be to position Houdini as a blend of Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones and Paul Daniels. Okay, maybe more David Blaine.

Ross is currently looking at a treatment penned by Noah Oppenheim. In an intriguing twist, should Ross tackle the movie, he’ll be exploiting a subject that has previously  caught the eye of Francis Lawrence, the man now in charge of directing Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel.

Various studios have been looking to exploit Houdini’s story, but none of the movies have yet escaped the shackles of development hell. Summit will be looking to Ross to make their pic happen, though there’s no word on whether it’ll be his next film, especially if he spends time re-writing Noah Oppenheim’s script.


Last Updated: May 3, 2012


  1. James Francis

    May 3, 2012 at 13:34

    Houdini the spy? Considering how dull actual spying is, I don’t see how this can be anything other than some sort of drama. Not much hope for a franchise there…


    • Darryn_Bonthuys

      May 3, 2012 at 14:55

      You know how films tweak reality to serve the plot. I’m already picturing a scene where Houdini escapes Bolshevik soldiers by throwing magic pigeons into their faces.


      • James Francis

        May 4, 2012 at 10:57

        Then why even bother making it about Houdini? If anything, if they aim to make an action movie, the name will make it seem historic and not capture that vital ADD demographic.


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