Writing news: DreamWorks nabs J. Michael Straczynski’s Houdini/Arthur Conan Doyle film; Melissa Rosenberg writing HIGHLANDER

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
February 9th, 2011

Apparently today is a good day if you are a writer.

First, THR has revealed that DreamWorks has picked up the rights to the original screenplay VOICES FROM THE DEAD, penned by writer J. Michael Straczynski. Best known for his work on films (CHANGELING, the upcoming SILVER SURFER film), TV (Babylon 5, Jeremiah) and of course, comics, VOICES is the latest script from Straczynski, and will look at the real life relationship between Harry Houdini and writer Arthur Conan Doyle through a fictional lens.

Apparently “Houdini and Doyle, who was a leading Spiritualist at the time, met in 1920 and became friends for a while despite long-running arguments about the existence of the supernatural. Doyle included a chapter in his book The Edge of the Unknown that claimed that Houdini had psychic powers, while Houdini often used his acts to debunk fraudulent claims about the spirit world.” This film will follow a fictional story where the two team up to solve a series of murders.  I’m not the biggest fan of Straczynski’s work, but this film definitely sounds like an interesting, if totally offbeat, project. More on this one as it develops.

Finally, THR has also revealed that TWILIGHT SAGA scribe Melissa Rosenberg will be penning new drafts for Summit’s upcoming remake of HIGHLANDER. Personally, given the series’ source material, asking a person to pen screenplays based on the Twilight books is the definition of a fool’s errand, so while it may really seem like a weird choice, I do hold out hope that Summit knows what the hell they are doing. Hopefully they don’t make me look like a fool for that either.

What do you think?

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