Sometimes it’s hard to tell when there’s more to a man than death-defying escapes. Apparently Harry Houdini was one of them. Summit has just picked up the rights to adapt a “controversial” biography about Harry Houdini which claims he worked as a spy for the British as he traveled the world escaping from giant milk jugs.

That alone had my attention but what makes this project sound really great is their plans to try and make this into an action thriller franchise. Seriously:

Summit Entertainment has unlocked “The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero,” picking up feature-film rights to the biography by William Kalush and Larry Sloman.

The comprehensive tome, published in 2006 by Atria Books, became known for insinuating that Harry Houdini acted as a spy for Britain and was asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II’s court in prerevolutionary Russia….

The studio is not looking to make a biopic but rather an action thriller featuring a character who is part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes. Summit hopes to cash in on worldwide recognition of Houdini’s name while potentially launching a franchise.

I haven’t read the biography, but it sounds to me like they’re going to have to do some serious “based on” disclaimers up front. “Based on” as in “there once was this guy named Houdini” and then they just make the rest up.

Source: THR via IWatchStuff

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