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Scott Frank is in talks to come on board to write Houdini, Columbia’s project centering on famous escape artist and magician Harry Houdini.
Francis Lawrence is attached to direct while Jimmy Miller is producing via his Mosaic Media shingle.
While there several Houdini projects being developed in film and TV — some supernatural, some in the vein of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie — this one seems to be one of the more grounded. It sees Houdini striving to expose a troubled, beautiful spiritualist as a fraud. As he becomes obsessed with her, he starts to believe she’s authentic, only to uncover what appears to be a tragic scam.
The studio has long been developing a Houdini project, attracting filmmakers such as Ang Lee, Paul Verhoeven and Robert Zemeckis over the years, but Houdini got a new act in March when Lawrence and Miller conjured up a fresh take.
One of the town’s more respected scribes, Frank’s credits range from Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight to Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report to the canine weepie Marley & Me. He is repped by CAA.
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