Johnny Depp in talks to star as Harry Houdini for Lionsgate (Report)

By Daniel S Levine,

Johnny Depp is staying in business with Lionsgate, the studio behind his upcoming Mortdecai. His next trick for the studio could involve playing the master magician Harry Houdini in a film about his secret life.

The film currently has the long title of The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the casting. Depp is in the negotiating stage with the studio.

William Kalush and Larry Sloman wrote the book that the film is based on and Noah Oppenheim penned the script. Red 2 director Dean Parisot is signed to helm the project.

Secret Life will focus on Houdini’s other life as an adventurer who looked for the secrets of the occult. It turns out that Houdini was also an Indiana Jones-style character, at least for Hollywood.

Houdini is has become a hot property in showbusiness at the moment. Adrien Brody is playing him in a History Channel miniseries. There is also a long-gestating Broadway musical in the works, but Hugh Jackman has dropped out of that.

As for Depp, he appears to be taking on some smaller projects after The Lone Ranger and Transcendence both flopped. He’s currently filming the indie Whitey Bulger movie Black Mass and finished Mortdecai, which opens in February.

Lionsgate hopes to start Secret Life this November, but Depp also plans on making Pirates of the Caribbean 5 at Disney soon as well.

Depp’s Infinitum Nihil producing partner Christi Dembrowski is in talks to co-produce Secret Life with Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen.

image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com



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