Back in March we told you that Summit had acquired the rights to the book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, and that they were going to be making an adventure movie (with an eye to the franchise) about the greatest escape artist who ever lived. Back then they were still looking for a writer and now they’ve found their man: Jeff Nathanson.
Nathanson is one of those writers I just don’t get. He wrote a movie I loved: Catch Me If You Can and then a bunch more I either dislike or loathe: The Terminal, Rush Hour 2, Speed 2: Cruise Control and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Nathanson can’t really take much blame for that last disaster, but I wonder if he’s got a zillion development hell scripts that are so much better than these movies. I mean, why is he getting so much work? Why does Spielberg keep going back to him (seriously, The Terminal is Spielberg’s worst film. Makes 1941 look accomplished)?
I’m hoping that Catch Me If You Can is the movie that best represents Nathanson, and that the Houdini movie has very little Crystal Skull in its genes.