Johnny Depp has plans to play one of history's most famous magicians. The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that Depp will take on the role of Harry Houdini in Lionsgate's upcoming The Secret Life of Houdini, to be directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, RED 2).
First announced in 2009, the big screen project is to be based on the 2006 book of the same name by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Published in 2006, it is officially described as follows:
Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdiniís life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.
"The Secret Life of Houdini" traces the arc of the master magicianís life from desperate poverty to worldwide fameóhis legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
It was said when the project was first announced that the studio is not looking to make a biopic but rather an action thriller likened in tone to Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones franchise.
Depp will produce through his Infinitum Nihil alongside Christi Dembrowski with Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen also attached to produce.