Johnny Depp may soon have another iconic role to add to his rather eclectic body of work. As being reported by both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Depp is currently in negotiations to star as famed magician Harry Houdini in a new movie being produced by Lionsgate. The story will reportedly unfold in a similar fashion to the Indiana Jones franchise, framing Houdini as an adventure hero who investigates the world of the occult in addition to being a magician.
Though it will almost certainly end up with a more succinct title, the full working title for now is The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, based on the book by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. The script was written by Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner) with Dean Parisot (RED 2, Galaxy Quest) is attached to direct. This definitely looks like an attempt by Lionsgate to launch a new action/adventure franchise with Depp as the centerpiece.
Assuming the deal comes together, Depp can only hope that it has the same success as Indiana Jones, as he is coming off a string of commercial disappointments, including Transcendence and The Lone Ranger. His biggest commercial success to date, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, is currently in pre-production on the 5th installment and showing signs of fatigue both creatively and at the box-office. For now, the famously reclusive actor remains busy, having just wrapped production on the Lionsgate action-comedy Mortdecai and just begun filming the Whitey Bulger biopic for Warner Bros.