TV Plus (South Africa) - - 11 DECEMBER -

which ma­gi­cian work­ing to­day will still be a house­hold name in 10 years? how about 100 years? there’s un­likely to be another il­lu­sion­ist and es­cape master to match that of harry hou­dini – born in 1874 and still im­i­tated to­day. the twopart minis­eries hou­dini (2014) star­ring adrien brody fol­lows the rise of ehrich weiss on his long jour­ney to be­com­ing hou­dini. here’s a lit­tle of what the pro­duc­tion team pulled out their hat… pro­ducer ger­ald w abrams was in­spired to shoot hou­dini after see­ing the first robert downey jr sher­lock holmes film (2009) and hired screen­writer ni­cholas meyer, who wrote the 1974 novel the seven per­cent so­lu­tion about sher­lock holmes and sig­mund freud. ni­cholas claims that he based the screen­play on the book hou­dini: a mind in chains: a psy­cho­an­a­lytic por­trait (1976), which was writ­ten by ni­cholas’s dad bernard meyer. but de­tails like bess (harry’s wife, played by kris­ten connolly) smoking mar­i­juana ap­pear only in the book the se­cret life of hou­dini (2007) by wil­liam kalush and larry slo­man. the se­ries was shot in bu­dapest, hun­gary, the city where hou­dini was born on 24 march 1874. dur­ing pro­duc­tion on 31 oc­to­ber 2013, the team held a minute’s si­lence to mark the 87th an­niver­sary of hou­dini’s death. the scene they were work­ing on is of hou­dini try­ing out his first strait­jacket at home in new york. hun­gar­ian es­cape artist david mer­lini, the show’s tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor, was awarded best es­cape artist at 2007’s world magic awards. that’s a real ele­phant in the trick – com­puter magic was used to make it dis­ap­pear though. adrien jokes that “i had to learn to climb up an ele­phant grace­fully and trust the ele­phant”. while adrien wears a speedo, the real hou­dini per­formed most of his dar­ing es­capes com­pletely nude.

there’s no ty­ing adrien brody up in his role as

harry hou­dini.

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