Following the success of scripted mini-series Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, History has given the green-light to a new mini-series titled Houdini. The four hour effort is set to enter production this fall and will star Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as the ace magician and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) as his wife Bess.
Penned by Nicholas Meyer, Houdini tells the story of the one man whose name was synonymous with being the master of illusion and escape – Harry Houdini. The mini follows the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion. Lionsgate Television and A&E Studios are producing with Gerald W. Abrams and Andras Hamori serving as executive producers. Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex) is attached to direct.
“It’s not magic that History has established a strong track record with its high-quality historical dramas from quality auspices. We’re excited to build on that tremendous momentum with Houdini,” said Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Manager, History. “The Great Harry Houdini is a fascinating man in history and I have no doubt that Adrien Brody will bring the magician’s riveting story to life for our audience.”
“It’s exciting to be working with History, Adrien and our extraordinary creative and producing partners on Houdini,” said Kevin Beggs, President of Lionsgate Television Group. “We’re also delighted to be expanding Lionsgate’s overall relationship with A+E Networks.”
“Since my childhood, when I dreamed of being a great magician, Harry Houdini has been one of my heroes,” said Adrien Brody. “His bravery and obsessive determination still fascinate me. Houdini mastered the art of escape – not only from physical chains, but from poverty and the social constraints of a humble immigrant origin. His life story appeals to the universal longing for acceptance with which we all can identify. To portray him is beyond an honor.”