Johnny Depp has entered negotiations to star in Lionsgate's gestating action-thriller The Secret Life of Houdini, which is based on the life of famed illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini.
The project is an adaptation of William Kalush and Larry Sloman's biography of the same name, which follows Harry Houdini's exploits as both a magician and a spy for the British government, who investigates the occult world. The movie is being set up as more of an action-adventure, in the same vein as the Indiana Jones franchise, instead of as a straight-up biopic.
The project has been in development since 2009, when Jeff Nathanson was attached to write and direct. Noah Oppenheim wrote the latest version of the script, with Dean Parisot attached to direct.
Christi Dembrowski, Johnny Depp's producing partner at Infinitum Nihil, is also in negotiations to produce, alongside Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen. No production schedule has been released.
Johnny Depp most recently starred in Transcendence, and he will next be seen in Into the Woods and Mortdecai, which Lionsgate is distributing. He is currently shooting Black Mass.