The book, published in 1991, centers on a boy who’s trying unsuccessfully to perform Houdini’s magic tricks when he meets his idol at a train station and begs Houdini to explain himself, eliciting a promise from Houdini to write. The boy finally receives a letter inviting him to Houdini’s house — only to discover that Houdini died that day and left him a mysterious, locked box.
Famous for his complicated escape acts, the illusionist died in 1926 of a ruptured appendix following a performance in Detroit.
Selznick also wrote “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” which was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.”
Fox-based Chernin produced “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” as well as TV series “Terra Nova” and “Breakout Kings.” Chernin is also a producer on Paul Feig’s female buddy cop project starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.