We haven’t heard much on Warner Brothers’ adaptation of Glen David Gold’s 2001 historical thriller Carter Beats The Devil since the studio optioned the book in March 2010. But now it seems as if there is some movement on the project inside the studio.
According to the LA Times, a script has been turned in to studio brass and now they’re beginning to look for interested actors and directors for the project. And at the the top of their wish list for stars is Johnny Depp.
Now granted, Depp is at the top of many projects’ wish lists, and not all of them appropriate for the actor. But having read the book several years back, I think that this one might be a good fit for him.
Gold’s book fictionalizes the life story of the real-life magician Charles Carter, whom no less than Harry Houdini gave the nickname “Carter The Great.” After he performs for President Harding, even bringing him up on to the stage to assist with a trick for the show’s finale. But when the President is found dead in his hotel room hours later, Carter comes under the scrutiny of a US Secret Service Agent. As the investigation unfolds, we are treated to flashbacks to Carter’s life, with him encountering historical personages from a pre-film career Marx Brothers to Houdini to BMW founder Max Friz to Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television.
The book had been optioned a couple of times previously, once by Tom Cruise who was eying it as a starring vehicle.