×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chernin chains helmer to ‘Houdini Box’

Irish filmmaker Kealan O'Rourke to write, direct adaptation

Chernin Entertainment brandished its magic wand to tap Irish filmmaker Kealan O’Rourke, who will write and direct the adaptation of Brian Selznick’s young adult novel “The Houdini Box.”

A representative for Chernin had no comment.

Published in 1991, book centers on a young boy and aspiring magician who meets his idol Harry Houdini at a train station and begs the famed illusionist to explain his tricks, 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.

Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce, while Kerry Foster will oversee the project for Chernin.

Project is one of several in the works about Houdini, as Sony and Summit are developing a pair of pics about the magician, while Aaron Sorkin is working on a stage musical that would star Hugh Jackman.

Selznick is the author of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” which was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.”

A veteran director of short films, O’Rourke is developing his award-winning short “The Boy in the Bubble” as an animated feature. He’s also attached to write and direct an animated adaptation of Archaia Entertainment’s upcoming graphic novel “Bolivar” for Warner Bros and Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road banner.

O’Rourke is repped by Paradigm, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Robert Szymanski.

More Film

  • NEW TOY? – Everyone’s favorite pull-string

    China Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Beaten by Old Animated Film 'Spirited Away'

    Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” has debuted to record-breaking opening weekends all over the world – but not in China, where it was soundly beaten by a nearly 20-year-old Japanese anime classic, Ghibli Studios’ “Spirited Away.” While “Toy Story 4” made film history in territories around the world with the largest-ever three-day opening for [...]

  • The Wolf Hour

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Wolf Hour'

    Run a finger along any of the surfaces in Alistair Banks Griffin’s sophomore feature “The Wolf Hour,” and it will come up slicked with sweat, grime and the residual soot of the city. It is the summer of 1977,  and it’s hotter than hell. June Leigh (Naomi Watts) perches on the window sill of the [...]

  • The Christmas Gift

    'The Christmas Gift,' 'Guaxuma,' 'King Wah' Win Top Awards at Palm Springs ShortFest

    The Palm Springs International ShortFest wrapped Sunday with top prizes going to “The Christmas Gift,” directed by Bogdan Muresanu, for best of the festival, Nara Normande’s “Guaxuma” for best international short and Horatio Baltz’s “King Wah (I Think I Love You)” for best North American short. The festival is the largest shorts-focused event in North [...]

  • Vortex

    Shanghai Film Review: 'Vortex'

    Official statistics imply that violent crime is close to an all-time low across China today, but you would hardly guess as much from the glut of commercial-leaning crime and gangster movies that the Middle Kingdom is producing and, as often as not, given the accessibility of the genre and the historical pedigree of Asian action [...]

  • Box Office: Toy Story 4 Opens

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Launches Overseas With $120 Million, 'Aladdin' Clears $800 Million

    Disney’s summer box office slate continues to dominate over other studios as “Toy Story 4” launches overseas with a solid $120 million and “Aladdin” crosses $800 million in ticket sales. Disney and Pixar’s latest “Toy Story” entry led international box office charts when it debuted in 37 foreign territories. It also dwarfed the competition in [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Box Office: Pixar

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Dominates With $118 Million Debut

    Disney’s domination over the box office only seemed to strengthen this weekend as “Toy Story 4” easily topped box office charts. The fourth entry in Pixar’s animated series collected $118 million in ticket sales when it debuted in 4,575 North American theaters. While that haul is significantly below expectations – early estimates initially anticipated a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content