History announced today that the network has green-lit production on a new four-hour scripted miniseries, “Houdini,” slated to start production this fall. Starring Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as the ace magician and Kristen Connolly (“House of Cards,” The Cabin in the Woods) as his wife Bess, the miniseries will trace the arc of Houdinis life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame and will be co-produced for Histroy by Lionsgate and A+E Studios.
Before David Blaine and David Copperfield, there was one man whose name was synonymous with being the master of illusion and escape Harry Houdini. “Houdini” follows the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.
Its not magic that History has established a strong track record with its high-quality historical dramas from quality auspices. Were excited to build on that tremendous momentum with ‘Houdini,’ said Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Manager, History. The Great Harry Houdini is a fascinating man in history and I have no doubt that Adrien Brody will bring the magicians riveting story to life for our audience.
It’s exciting to be working with History, Adrien and our extraordinary creative and producing partners on ‘Houdini,’ said Kevin Beggs, President, Lionsgate Television Group. We’re also delighted to be expanding Lionsgate’s overall relationship with A+E Networks.
Since my childhood, when I dreamed of being a great magician, Harry Houdini has been one of my heroes, said Adrien Brody. His bravery and obsessive determination still fascinate me. Houdini mastered the art of escape not only from physical chains, but from poverty and the social constraints of a humble immigrant origin. His life story appeals to the universal longing for acceptance with which we all can identify. To portray him is beyond an honor.
Gerald W. Abrams (Nuremberg, Family of Spies) and Andras Hamori (Sunshine) will serve as executive producers of “Houdini”. Academy Award nominated Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) is writer and Academy Award nominated director Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Hotel Adlon) will helm “Houdini”. Academy Award winning veteran Patrizia von Brandenstein (Amadeus) is production designer and Karl Walter Lindenlaub, whose work ranges from American blockbusters (Independence Day) to award-winning art house movies (Black Book) is cinematographer. Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs are Executives in Charge of Production for History.
(Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo / WENN.com)