If you don’t recognize the name Dean Parisot, it’s no surprise. But you’ve probably seen at least one of his films. Parisot is the man behind the Star Trek satire Galaxy Quest, and most recently has helmed RED 2, with Bruce Willis and John Malkovich. Now Parisot is in talks to take on Summit Entertainment’s Houdini, about the supposed secret life of the famous magician.
Houdini will be based on the book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. The book has been severely criticized for historical inaccuracy due to the controversial assertion that Houdini was a spy for U.S. and British authorities, sending back reports from his travels in Germany and Russia during the early 1900s. It seems that Kalush and Sloman play up this idea in the book based largely upon scant evidence. But there’s nothing like a good spy story. With a script by Noah Oppenheim, whose sole completed screenplay credit is for The Maze Runner, due out next year, we’ll be able to see if the film convinces.
Parisot is now a likely candidate for the role of Houdini helmer. Summit is the same company behind Parisot’s RED 2, the sequel to RED, about retired black ops assassins who get pulled back into the game. The company obviously has some faith in Parisot’s abilities to do good by Houdini.
Historically accurate or not, Harry Houdini is a great topic for an historical action-adventure. He had a long and varied history, run-ins with some major historical figures of his day – including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – and has provided fodder for Hollywood films for awhile now. I guess it was about time for a new one.
So far there has been no word on who will play the famed magician/spy, but rest assured that once the director is solidified, we can expect to hear about casting for Houdini any day now.