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The zombie trend is dying. Vampires are on their way out. So what's coming next? Magicians! Specifically Harry Houdini. The legendary illusionist and escape artist seems to be Hollywood's latest preoccupation, as three different films are now in the works, hoping to explore Houdini's unique mystique.
First up, Sony's been developing a mystery that focuses on Houdini's passion for debunking self-declared physics and mediums. Summit Entertainment and Hunger Games director Gary Ross are working on an adaptation of the biography The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America's First Superhero, which posited that beyond his public face as an incredible showman, the heralded Houdini was also a secret agent. It's fitting then that Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak has been tapped to pen an adventure movie about a fictional descendant of Handcuff Harry.
THR reports Walden Media has hired Fedak to tackle the script, which was originally drafted in 2006 by Brett Merryman (Impact Point) and later revised by Josh Klausner (Date Night). Currently untitled, this Houdini project centers on a teen boy who finds his life is in danger once he uncovers a family secret that connects back to his mythic ancestor. This spurs him into a race to find the "greatest magical secret known to man."
With a premise this fantastical, bringing in Fedak seems a wise choice. After all, Chuck is also about an average man being hurled into an extraordinary and oft life-threatening circumstance. But with so many Houdini movies in the works, it'll be interesting to see if each makes it through development as rival Truman Capote biopics Capote and Infamous did (to varying degrees of acclaim), or—if like the dueling Linda Lovelace biopics Inferno and Lovelace—one will stall out as the other gains buzz. In short, is there room for so many tales of Houdini?