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Gary Ross Escapes To Houdini

Hunger Games director in talks...

He may no longer be involved with the Hunger Games franchise, but it would seem that writer-director Gary Ross is happy to stay in business with Summit Entertainment. He’s now in negotiations to handle a new planned film about Harry Houdini.

Back in 2009, Summit snapped up the rights to William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s book The Secret Life Of Houdini, The Making Of America’s First Superhero, which hit bookshelves in 2006 and caused ripples by adding to claims that the escape expert was an undercover agent for various organisations. The pair claims that he not only worked with British Intelligence, but the US Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies.

The idea behind the new movie will be to position Houdini as a blend of Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones and Paul Daniels. Okay, maybe more David Blaine.

Various studios have been looking to exploit Houdini’s story, but none of the movies have yet escaped the shackles of development hell. Summit will be looking to Ross to make their pic happen, though there’s no word on whether it’ll be his next film, especially if he spends time re-writing Noah Oppenheim’s script.

In an intriguing twist, should Ross tackle the movie, he’ll be exploiting a subject that has previously caught the eye of Francis Lawrence, the man now in charge of directing Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel.