Helmer in talks for Houdin biopic.

British filmmaker Joe Wright (‘Anna Karenina,’ ‘Atonement’) is in talks with Lionsgate to direct ‘Houdini,’ a biopic of legendary escape artist Harry Houdin, according to The LA Times.

Penned by Noah Oppenheim (‘Jackie,’ ‘Snabba Cash’), the film is based on William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s comprehensive biography ‘The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero.’ Released by Atria Books in 2006, the book was best known for suggesting that Houdini acted as a spy for Britain and was asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II’s court in pre-revolutionary Russia.

‘The Hunger Games’ director Gary Ross was initially linked to the director’s seat, but talks with the director and the studio stalled.