May 24, 2011
According to reports, writer Scott Frank ("Minority Report") will script a fresh take on the life of escape artist, magician 'Harry Houdini' for Columbia Pictures, with Francis Lawrence
("Constantine") attached to direct, for producer Jimmy Miller ("Bad Teacher").
Premise will follow Houdini as he becomes obsessed, then tries to
debunk, a 'beautiful spiritualist' as a fraud.
Erik Weisz aka 'Harry Houdini', the Hungarian-born American, noted
as an 'escapologist', stunt performer, actor and film producer was also a supernatural skeptic, who set out to expose frauds
purporting to be other-worldly phenomena.
In the 1920's Houdini turned his energies toward debunking self-proclaimed
psychics and mediums.
His training in magic allowed him to expose frauds who had successfully fooled scientists and academics and as a member of
a 'Scientific American' committee, also offered a cash prize to any medium who could successfully demonstrate supernatural
These debunking activities cost Houdini the friendship
of "Sherlock Holmes" author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a firm believer in Spiritualism, who refused to believe any of Houdini's
Conan Doyle believed that Houdini was a powerful spiritualist medium, performing many of his stunts by means of paranormal
powers, also using those abilities to deliberately block those of other mediums that he was 'debunking'.
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