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