How is it that Hollywood hasn’t come up with a proper Harry Houdini biopic in the last 50 years? A born showman, Houdini’s accomplishments escaping from elaborate traps certainly set himself up for an excellent cinematic story. Later, he even enjoyed a successful movie career. A director wanting to tell Houdini’s story would have plenty of material to choose from, and now Joe Wright might step up and take a shot.

Wright is about to amaze audiences with his stunning literary adaptation of Anna Karenina, which wowed festival crowds and opens on Nov. 16. But the L.A. Times says that Wright is negotiating with Lionsgate to possibly helm an adaptation of the book The Secret Life of Houdini, written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman.

Even before Karenina (which I adored), I would have signed on to anything that Wright decides to direct. His previous films – from Pride and Prejudice and Atonement to the exhilarating Hanna -- were visually stimulating exercises in attitude and pacing. Karenina ups the ante for Wright, and I’m dying to see what he chooses to do next. He might have a fair share of power if Karenina does very well in the awards race.

As for Houdini, his biopic almost landed in the hands of The Hunger Games director Gary Ross. And his life story is informing a Broadway musical backed by Aaron Sorkin and Hugh Jackman. But the escape artist really deserves his own movie, and in my opinion, Wright would be a tremendous choice to take over the project.

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