HISTORY(R) Greenlights Production of Scripted Miniseries "HOUDINI"
Academy Award(R) Winner Adrien Brody and Kristen Connolly to Star and Academy Award(R) Nominated Uli Edel to Direct the Lionsgate/A+E Studios Co-Production
New York, NY, August 19, 2013 - HISTORY announced today that the network has green-lighted production of a new four-hour scripted miniseries, HOUDINI, slated to start production this fall. Starring Academy Award(R) winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as the ace magician and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards, The Cabin in the Woods) as his wife Bess, the miniseries will trace the arc of Houdini's life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame and will be co-produced for HISTORY by Lionsgate and A+E Studios.
Before David Blaine and David Copperfield, there was one man whose name was synonymous with being the master of illusion and escape - Harry Houdini. HOUDINI follows the man behind the magic as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists and encounters the greatest names of the era, from U.S. presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grigori Rasputin. The drama will chronicle the life of a man who can defy death through his stunts, his visions and his mastery of illusion.
"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," said Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Manager, HISTORY. "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, Lionsgate Television Group. "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 Adrien 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."
Gerald W. Abrams (Nuremberg, Family of Spies) and Andras Hamori (Sunshine) will serve as executive producers of HOUDINI. Academy Award(R) nominated Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) is writer and Academy Award(R) nominated director Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Hotel Adlon) will helm HOUDINI. Academy Award(R) winning veteran Patrizia von Brandenstein (Amadeus) is production designer and Karl Walter Lindenlaub, whose work ranges from American blockbusters (Independence Day) to award-winning art house movies (Black Book) is cinematographer. Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs are Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY.
HISTORY(R), now reaching more than 98 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network's all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hit series including American Pickers(R), American Restoration(TM), Ax Men(TM), Ice Road Truckers(R), Pawn Stars(R), Swamp People(R) and Top Shot(R) as well as History's first scripted series Vikings, and epic miniseries and special programming such as The Bible and the Emmy(R) Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY's Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial. www.history.com.
About A+E Studios
A+E Studios is the in-house production arm of the award-winning global media company A+E Networks, LLC. A+E Studios commissions, creates and co-produces content across all networks and platforms under the A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E(R) Network, Lifetime(R), HISTORY(R), LMN(R), BIO(TM), H2(TM) and A&E IndieFilms(R).
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 28 television shows on 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and Orange Is The New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Tyler Perry's Temptation, Warm Bodies, Snitch, Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods and Arbitrage. Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.