Aaron Sorkin Exits Broadway Musical About Houdini

2012-31 TOWN Aaron Sorkin P

Aaron Sorkin heard from Jay Paterno, son of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. "We never touched [Jerry] Sandusky or Paterno on the show," explains Sorkin of his surprising outreach.

The acclaimed writer cited TV and film commitments for leaving the Hugh Jackman-toplined project.

Aaron Sorkin won’t be making magic on Brodwday, after all. The acclaimed writer has dropped out as librettist for the Hugh Jackman starrer Houdini, a musical about the famous magician.

Sorkin cited his commitments to film and television projects for leaving the Harry Houdini project.

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“I was really looking forward to returning to Broadway and working with such an incredible team. I am very disappointed my schedule won’t allow that at this time,” Sorkin said in a statement.

He had been balancing his Houdini duties with prepping the June season premiere of HBO’s The Newsroom and penning a screenplay about Steve Jobs for Sony.

“Mr. Sorkin's considerable talents are an asset to any project and we regret that he's unable to remain with Houdini,” said producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell. “However, what Hugh and the creative team continue to create is one of the most exciting projects we've ever been a part of. Our projected arrival on Broadway and additional creative team announcement will be made at a future date."

Houdini features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) and direction by Jack O'Brien (Hairspray). It centers on the illusionist’s battle with three women, called the “Spiritualists,” who purported to communicate with the dead. No other casting news has been announced for the musical.

Sorkin previously worked on Broadway when he adapted his unproduced screenplay The Farnsworth Invention for the stage. The production ran from December 2007 through March 2008.