Harry Houdini Movie ‘Witch of Lime Street’ in the Works at STX

STX Entertainment is developing a movie about the rivalry between Harry Houdini and psychic Margery Crandon, better known as “The Witch of Lime Street.”

The studio has acquired motion picture rights to David Jaher’s book “The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World.” “Mama” director Andres Muschietti will develop, direct and produce the mystery thriller from a screenplay written by Jaher.

The film will also be produced by Barbara Muschietti.

The  story chronicles the rivalry that simmered and grew more intense during the 1920s as Houdini — the most famous illusionist of the era — and a panel of investigative experts embarked on a quest to debunk Crandon.

Although the Roaring ’20s were best known for jazz and speakeasies, the loss of lives in World War I also led to efforts to communicate with the dead via self-proclaimed psychics. Houdini debunked fake spiritualists as frauds and charlatans by revealing their tricks.

“Quite a few producers and studios were pursuing rights to this book for very good reason,” said STX’s Oren Aviv. “This is a spellbinding and exciting true story that weaves a fantastic mystery and lots of intrigue with history involving some of the most renowned and iconic figures of the era. The timeless question: ‘Is there life after death?’ is explored through a scientific quest to investigate and validate supernatural phenomena.”

STX’s Sheroum Kim will oversee development of the project on behalf of the studio.

Two-year-old STX has released “The Gift” and “Secret in Their Eyes” as it seeks to fill what it sees as the need for mid-budget projects. Upcoming films include Matthew McConaughey’s “The Free State of Jones,” “Hardcore,” “Desierto,” interplanetary adventure “The Space Between Us” and the coming-of-age comedy “Besties.”

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