Helmer in talks to develop fresh take

Sony may finally be conjuring its long-gestating Houdini project.

Helmer Francis Lawrence is in talks to develop a new take of the high-profile biopic, though so far no deal has materialized.

Jimmy Miller, who’s produced such Sony comedies as “The Other Guys” and the upcoming “Bad Teacher,” will produce through his Mosaic Media Group banner.

Sony has long been passionate about bringing its own version of Houdini’s life to the bigscreen. In the late ’90s, the studio had attached Paul Verhoeven to helm a Houdini pic that was said to shed light on the magician’s mysterious life.

Revamped project will take a new approach, sources said, though it will be a large-scale period production for Sony emphasizing Houdini’s renowned showmanship.

Lawrence directed 2007′s “I Am Legend” for Warner Bros., and his most recent helming effort, “Water for Elephants,” is set to bow April 22 through Fox.

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