12:15pm PT by Daniel Miller
McG to Direct Magic Castle Movie (Exclusive)
McG has come aboard to direct Radar Pictures' film based on the Magic Castle, the famed private magic club in Hollywood.
The script is being written by Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari; details of the story are being kept under wraps. The project is set up at 20th Century Fox, and Radar's Ted Field and Mike Weber are producing.
Several notable venues have been the subject of Hollywood films. Disney turned its Haunted Mansion theme park ride into a 2003 family-oriented comedy thriller starring Eddie Murphy, while Fox has had much more success with its Ben Stiller franchise Night at the Museum, which began with the 2006 film set at the American Museum of Natural History.
The Magic Castle sits at 7001 W. Franklin Ave., just west of Highland Avenue, near Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. The venue was turned into a private magic club in 1963 and is not open to the public (guests must be invited by a member). Nightly shows are put on at the Magic Castle, which, with its many stages, labyrinthine corridors and old-fashioned decor, looks the part of a mysterious den of sorcery. Celebrity magic enthusiasts like Neil Patrick Harris -- who is president of the nonprofit Academy of Magical Arts, which is headquartered at the Magic Castle -- have performed at the venue.
McG will soon begin production on the Kevin Costner starrer Three Days to Kill, which is slated to wrap in February. The director then would turn his attention to the Magic Castle project.
McG and Field have history together: During the 1990s, the Charlie's Angels director helmed music videos for Interscope Records, which was co-founded by Field. McG's other directing credits include We Are Marshall, This Means War and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
Radar is in postproduction on a Chronicles of Riddick sequel and has completed Spring Breakers, the James Franco comedy from writer-director Harmony Korine.
Writing duo Barrer and Ferrari are adapting Legend, Marie Lu’s best-selling young-adult novel, and are writing Sabrina the Teenage Witch for Sony. Barrer and Ferrari also wrote Die in a Gunfight, a Romeo and Juliet-like action project that made the 2010 Black List. They are represented by WME, manager Will Rowbotham and attorney Patti Felker.
Magic Castle Inc., the holding company that controls the club's intellectual property, is pursuing expansion into other cities. The company also is working with Radar to develop projects such as a reality show and video game.
McG is represented by WME; Magic Castle Inc. is represented by CAA.