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Adrien Brody to play Harry Houdini in History miniseries

Aug. 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody is to play Hungarian-American illusionist Harry Houdini in a 4-hour scripted miniseries, the History channel announced Monday.

Production on the project is to begin this fall but no air date has yet been set.

Kristen Connolly from "House of Cards" and "The Cabin in the Woods" will play Houdini's wife, Bess.

"It's not magic that History has established a strong track record with its high-quality historical dramas from quality auspices. We're excited to build on that tremendous momentum with 'Houdini,'" Dirk Hoogstra, the network's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "The Great Harry Houdini is a fascinating man in history and I have no doubt that Adrien Brody will bring the magician's riveting story to life for our audience."

"It's exciting to be working with History, Adrien and our extraordinary creative and producing partners on 'Houdini,'" said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group, which is producing the miniseries. "We're also delighted to be expanding Lionsgate's overall relationship with A+E Networks."

"Since my childhood, when I dreamed of being a great magician, Harry Houdini has been one of my heroes," said Brody. "His bravery and obsessive determination still fascinate me. Houdini mastered the art of escape -- not only from physical chains, but from poverty and the social constraints of a humble immigrant origin. His life story appeals to the universal longing for acceptance with which we all can identify. To portray him is beyond an honor."

Houdini died of complications from a ruptured appendix in 1926. He was 52.

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