Johnny Depp to rub scarves all over Houdini
There is a handful of films I want, kind of desperately, to see in my lifetime, and for some reason, they’re all biopics. They are, in order: Nikola Tesla, Harry Houdini, World War II ladyspies Christine Granville and/or Nancy Wake, and pirates Bartholomew Roberts and Jean Lafitte. Out of all of those, the only one we’re remotely close to seeing is Harry Houdini as there are currently two Houdini projects in development, one at Sony and one at Lionsgate. I’m not terribly excited about either one as neither is a real biography of Houdini, but I just got a whole lot less excited about Lionsgate’s project—Johnny Depp is talks to star as Houdini.
I had a knee-jerk NO reaction to this. It’s sad, really. When I started writing for LaineyGossip, I loved Depp, and now just four years later, I can’t stand the idea of him as Houdini. Not least because if Depp sh*ts his cliché scarfy turds all over some weirdo knock-off version first and it bombs, we'll never get to see a REAL Houdini movie.
The movie is adapted from The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. It will be directed by the guy who directed Red 2—REALLY?—from a script by The Maze Runner screenwriter Noah Oppenheim. Two problems. 1) Houdini was Hungarian, and 2) the movie is ignoring all the best parts of the book in favor of some bullsh*tty “Indiana Jones investigates the occult” treatment. So we’re not getting an actual Houdini movie, what we’re getting is an adventure hour tale featuring a character who happens to be called “Houdini”, as played by Scarves Depp.
Houdini’s life is so fascinating—he was a great illusionist, he debunked spiritualists in his spare time (undoubtedly the origin of the occult angle for the movie), he had a dramatic mistress and even more dramatic wife, he may have been an old-timey spy, and before the Bolshevik Revolution he pissed in Rasputin’s Cornflakes by winning over the Russian royal family. When it comes to Harry Houdini, you don’t need to make anything up. His entire life is incredibly cinematic, and it’s frustrating that people feel the need to embellish a life that already sounds half make believe.
Might I propose an alternative? How about a straight Houdini biopic starring Robert Downey, Jr. C’mon. Everyone would pay to see that.
Attached – Johnny Depp on set yesterday.