After two box-office flops (Transcendence and The Lone Ranger), Johnny Depp is hoping to snag the role of Harry Houdini in Lionsgate/Summit’s The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero and regain his cinematic stride. Of course, this isn’t the first time Depp has been mentioned in connection with this movie, with The A.V. Club reporting on it (and all 9000 other Houdini movies in development) earlier this year, but apparently talks have pushed farther, with Depp’s producing partner, Christi Dembrowski, also in negotiations to produce the film with Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen.
Written by Noah Oppenheim and based on William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s book of the same name, this film aims to focus on Houdini’s passion for debunking Spiritualism, casting the famed escape artist as an Indiana Jones-like investigator of the world of the occult. You know, because escaping after being strapped in a straitjacket, sealed in a casket, and then buried in a large tank filled with sand isn’t nearly interesting enough.