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Director Snagged for Children’s Adventure ‘The Houdini Box’

Written by on January 8, 2013 

It was always sort of a given that Brian Selznick wouldn’t get equally great directors to adapt all his work. After all, when the first is Martin Scorsese, the game of leveling things out becomes way too much to handle — but that doesn’t mean another film can’t be any good. With fantastical, exciting stories on his authorial resumé to boot, attracting proper, creatively-minded talent for the Hollywood adaptations need not be some big struggle.

And, despite not knowing much about the signed guy upfront, I’ll hope for the best right now. Variety report that Kealan O’Rourke is being tapped to both write and direct The Houdini Box, Chernin Entertainment’s — which very likely also means 20th Century Fox’s — adaptation of the Selznick-penned and -drawn book. With that in mind, the sane types who were also fond of Hugo, book and / or movie, ought to get just some of that wonder back in mind upon reading a plot summary.

Here’s how Amazon summed it up:

“Victor is forever trying to escape from locked trunks, walk through walls, and perform any number of Houdini’s astonishing magic tricks…without success. Then — amazingly — he actually meets his idol, and begs Houdini to explain himself. A mysterious locked box is the magician’s only answer, and Victor is left to wonder: Does the box contain the secrets to the most famous magic tricks ever performed?”

The similarities ring out over just a few sentences, though, for the sake of original content, I think it’d be nice for The Houdini Box to do its own thing, too. Without a) reading the book or b) knowing O’Rourke‘s work (save for these), however, it’s too early to judge, except to say that Hugo leaves enough of a warm feeling for there being enough to coast on. Now Box has to prove why it’s worthy of being grouped alongside Scorsese.

Is The Houdini Box on your radar? How does the choice in director shake things up?

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