Hugh Jackman teaming up with Aaron Sorkin on 'Houdini' musical
In 2006, Hugh Jackman starred in the movie "The Prestige," a drama directed by Christopher Nolan about dueling magicians and set in Victorian England. Jackman apparently enjoyed the subject so much that he will be returning to the world of period magic in a new Broadway-bound musical titled "Houdini," set for some time in the 2013-14 season.
"Houdini" will tell the story of the popular illusionist and three women, known as "Spiritualists," who said they could communicate with the dead, according to reports. Houdini was a famous skeptic of spiritualism and mysticism, and spent much of his later career attempting to expose self-proclaimed psychics.
Aaron Sorkin, the playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Social Network," will write the book for the musical, and Stephen Schwartz, the composer/lyricist of "Wicked," will pen the score. Tony-winner Jack O'Brien will direct.
In a statement, Jackman said: "I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I've been preparing for this role my whole life ... I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game."
The Australian actor recently ended his Broadway revue "Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway," which ran for 10 weeks and was a box-office hit.
Born Erik Weisz in 1874, Houdini emigrated from Hungary to the U.S. as a boy. His magic career took off in 1899 and he became one of the most celebrated illusionists in the world. The period addressed by the musical took place in the 1920s when Houdini set about trying debunk the field of mysticism.
-- David Ng
Photo: Hugh Jackman. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press