Hey folks, Harry here... From time to time I'll actually read a novel or two because well, life can't all be movies this and movies that. These rather thick tomes of pressed pulp often times hit my doorstep in AMAZON boxes and I'll peel the tape off and peer inside to find a delight for a week or so. This was how I discovered Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY, an absolutely wondrous work of storytelling. Upon finishing that book I wanted something else to crack my eyes over and I found that same sort of joy in reading CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL. I love magician tales. I've worked with three magicians over the course of my life and the backstage joy of magical preparation, the timing of the gab coinciding with the slip of a wrist and a twist of a hankie... All joy for me. The UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS here in Austin has an immense amount of Harry Houdini's magical memoribilia and I've been lucky enough to fondle and examine some of it in my times here and there.
I have also noticed for years now that Tom Cruise has been fascinated with magicians. Examine his interest in not only making a HOUDINI movie with either Zemeckis or Verhoeven, but also his footsie playing with MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN and I believe a BLACKSTONE project at once. Hearing that Tom Cruise has bought an option on CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL is absolutely perfect sense. He's been trying to create a great narrative story out of these other magicians, both live and fictional, and here Glen Gold has given him the greatest magician story to tell, which has never been told before. I just hope they use the book cover art as a starting ground for the one-sheet.... it is absolutely splendid!
Author Glen Gold tells me that Tom Cruise just bought an option on his best seller "Carter Beats the Devil" for Cruise himself to star in. The book features the real life master magician in a real life mystery. Oh, and it's real good also.
"The Comics Savant"
Harry here again... Now here's where we find out the rest of the story. Seems that Robert Towne is set to direct.... this actually makes quite a bit of sense as Robert Towne directed WITHOUT LIMITS from his own script about Prefontaine, which was produced by Tom Cruise. If Towne is also set to write the screenplay... Well we really might be in for a treat here. This is definitely a project to get excited over!
Paramount have bought up the film rights to the fab novel CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL by Glen David Gold, I have been reliably informed that Tom Cruise is set to star and Robert Towne to direct.
The book is based around the life of magician Carter The Great, so named by Houdini. It starts with the death of President Harding before he can be impeached and the invention of television.
Having read the book and been a fan of it for a while I can well imagine it making a fantastic film.
Click hear to buy the audio version of CARTER BEATS THE
DEVIL (performed by Stanley Tucci!) from Amazon.com and save 30%!
Harry here again, can't believe I forgot that Tom was involved in THE WAR MAGICIAN as well. Here's a reminder about all that...
"Carter Beats the Devil" was a terrific book but it's nowhere near as interesting as the other project big T.C. is developing. Last year he quietly bought film rights to David Fishers book "The War Magician", the true story of how a famous stage magician helped turn the tide of WWII. Among other things he made Alexandria Harbor disappear, successfully hid the Suez canal and was responsible for out thinking Rommel the infamous Desert Fox. Then just last month Cruise and his producing partners hired Peter Buchman to adapt "The War Magician" into a screenplay. Buchman wrote "Jurassic Park III" and just sold his spec screenplay "Alexander" to IEG for mid seven figures for Marty Scorsese to direct. If you're a magician enthusiast you gotta get the book....it will blow your sox off. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
KIP D. Spy