Making his English-language splash in 2013 with monster horror Mama, Andres Muschietti has been curiously quiet ever since. It’s not as if he’s not attached to any future projects, though. He’s developing Shadow of the Colossus for Sony, and recently took the reins from Cary Fukanaga on the long-awaited remake of It. While both of those pictures stew in development, THR reports that Muschietti is now attached to direct supernatural caper The Witch of Lime Street.
Muschietti will co-produce the movie along with Barbara Muschietti, and the film is set to explore the relationship between famed escape artist Harry Houdini and spirit medium Margery Crandon. The movie takes its cues from the book by David Jaher, who will also pen the screenplay.
It will take place during the 1920s when the line between science and mysticism was at its blurriest. Plot-wise it’s said to centre around Margery’s reputation as a bona fide medium – dubbed the witch of Lime Street – and Houdini’s repeated attempts to debunk her claims. If Muschietti’s last movie is any indication, we should expect a dark trek into the realm of the supernatural.
For more details on The Witch of Lime Street, here’s the full synopsis of Jaher’s book, courtesy of Random House:
The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.
Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery’s powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee. Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince…the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.