As a longtime magic freak (and a biopic sceptic), I was conversely thrilled and unnerved about the latest announcement of yet another biopic (but this one about a magician!) being added to the pantheon. HISTORY announced today that the network has green-lit production of a new four-hour scripted miniseries, “Houdini.” The series is slated to start filming this fall with Oscar winner Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”) in the title role. Kristen Connolly (“House of Cards,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) will play Houdini’s wife, Bess. The story will trace the arc of Houdini”s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame.
Before David Blaine and David Copperfield, there was one man whose name was synonymous with being the master of illusion and escape – Harry Houdini. The miniseries follows the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.
“Since my childhood, when I dreamed of being a great magician, Harry Houdini has been one of my heroes,” said Adrien Brody. “His bravery and obsessive determination still fascinate me. Houdini mastered the art of escape – not only from physical chains, but from poverty and the social constraints of a humble immigrant origin. His life story appeals to the universal longing for acceptance with which we all can identify. To portray him is beyond an honor.”
Gerald W. Abrams (Nuremberg, Family of Spies) and Andras Hamori (Sunshine) will serve as executive producers. Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) is writer and Oscar-nominated director Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Hotel Adlon) will helm.
Will you watch? Or will it take a real magic trick for this biopic to get ratings?