Dream Works has picked up writer J Michael Straczynski’s original screenplay Voices From The Dead. The story teams magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes’s creator Arthur Conan Doyle in 1920’s New York City working to solve a string of grisly murders.
Although the story is fiction, Houdini and Doyle were actual friends. The pair met in 1920. Doyle was a well known Spiritualist at the time and Houdini was a well known debunker of the supernatural and those that used it to bilk money out of innocent and gullible people. Despite their polar opposite views on the matter, the two remained friends for the rest of their lives.
This is not the first time that Straczynski has based a screenplay on historical fact. His script for Changeling was based on a real Los Angeles kidnapping case from the 1930s.
Straczynski is perhaps best known for creating the classic science-fiction television series Babylon 5 as well as scripting an overwhelming majority of the show’s five year run. Other television work includes the Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade, Jeremiah and Murder She Wrote. Although working in Hollywood in television for over two decades, Changeling opened many doors for Straczynski for film work. He currently has a revamp/prequel of the classic 1950s science fiction film Forbidden Planet at Warner Brothers and the historical drama Shattered Union in development at Disney.