This film is cursed. After much controversy, writer Jeff Nathanson has just signed on to write and direct the adaptation of William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s Harry Houdini biography The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero for Summit Entertainment.
As for the script, we all know Nathanson is able to come up with ideas, the question is whether or not his crazy ideas are any good. Nathanson has written screenplays and stories for Rush Hour 2 and 3, and Steven Spielberg‘s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. What do all three of those have in common? They all made a lot of money and they were all absolutely horrible.
In 2006, the book caused a lot of controversy because it implied that Houdini was a spy for Britain and a potential adviser for Czar Nicholas II’s court in pre-revolution Russia. The book also insinuated that Houdini’s death was caused by the spiritual movement because he exposed spiritualists as con artists.
Surprise, surprise, Nathanson and Summit are hoping to launch a franchise of Houdini films, and is looking to take on a more “action-adventure approach” similar to the way that the upcoming film Sherlock Holmes is taking. Does Nathanson know how to do anything else than cheesy action-adventure?
The film has been on hold for sometime due to a change in screenwriters. As much as this sounds like an interesting story, who thinks that he could be the right man for the job?