Francis Lawrence Conjures Movie Magic With Houdini Biopic

[caption id="attachment_41273" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Getty Images"]Francis Lawrence[/caption]

We've always wanted to actually see that crazy Chinese Water Torture Cell trick.

We'll be able to see that death-defying stunt and a whole lot more once director Francis Lawrence unveils what might end up being his greatest show to date, a biography film chronicling the strange and bizarre life of Harry Houdini.

The project has long been in development at Sony Pictures, with Paul Verhoeven once attached to direct back in the late '90s. Sony has now tapped "I Am Legend" and "Water For Elephants" director Lawrence to make the magic actually happen this time, according to Variety.

Harry Houdini (1974-1926) got rich and famous as a stage magician, escape artist, stunt performer and film actor. Some of his most notable (and elaborate) escape tricks included getting out of special handcuffs that supposedly took seven years to make and crawling back to the earth's surface after being buried alive (which didn't go so well the first time).

Houdini was also obsessed with flying and became a skilled aviator (after crashing once). He was also a renowned skeptic who took to debunking various myths and legends (and, indeed, "magic").

No word on a start date yet, though this will definitely be a fun one to cast. Meanwhile, Lawrence's "Water For Elephants," starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, will put on a show starting April 22.