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‘Chuck’ Co-Creator Chris Fedak to Pen Houdini Film for Walden Media

Written by on July 17, 2012 

Did you ever think Harry Houdini would become such a hot item? (In the 21st century, I mean.) In the past year, we’ve already had word of two projects to center on the famed illusionist: The Secret Life of Houdini, an Indiana Jones-like actioner that Gary Ross was up for back in May, and the more traditional (but still fiction-lined) Houdini, which Francis Lawrence has been considering for a bit of time.

We’re now reminded of a third (count it, a third) to take liberty with Houdini’s life for the sake of a fun story. The untitled feature, from Walden Media, was initially scripted by Brett Merryman, was later give a look by Josh Klausner (Shrek Forever After, Date Night), and, according to THR, will now be taken over by Chris Fedak, co-creator of and staff writer on Chuck. Mark Waters (Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Spiderwick Chronicles) will direct.

In a script set-up that reads like “copy and paste a famous person’s name here,” the screenplay revolves around a high school student who “discovers a family secret leading back to the legendary illusionist.” But it won’t just remain some amazing discovery! Clues have been ” left through the centuries,” all of which act as a trail of breadcrumbs toward “the greatest magical secret known to man.”

Now, Fedak‘s show is not one I entirely care for — though the pilot, which I saw (oy) almost five years ago, was sort of amusing — nor is that logline terribly inspiring or original, either. But it’s all about the specifics, as you know; maybe something in the script has created a fun, rousing adventure that pays tribute to the man’s amazing work and provides a satisfying emotional arc for its lead. Maybe.

Is this another Houdini project that we need? Are there any Houdini projects that we need?

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