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Zeta-Jones on Death Call
Oscar-winning beauty will star with Guy Pearce in the indie Harry Houdini biopic Death Defying Acts.
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006 at 10:00 AM by Mark Umbach
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Photo
Zeta-Jones to join Guy Pearce in indie biopic of Harry Houdini

Catherine Zeta-Jones, an Oscar winner for her supporting role in Chicago, has a little magic on her side. The Welsh beauty has started negotiations to star with leading man Guy Pearce in Death Defying Acts, an indie biopic of famed illusionist Harry Houdini. The film is currently slated to begin lensing later this summer in the U.K. under the direction of Oscar and Lucinda helmer Gillian Armstrong, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Death Defying Acts, written by Tony Grisoni and Brian Ward, will be a period piece set in 1926 during the height of Houdini's career. Pearce will play the enigmatic Houdini, who, at the time, was touring the world impressing mass audiences with his highly-structured and sophisticated escape performances. Zeta-Jones, should a deal be reached, will play an exotic psychic who catches Houdini's eye and with whom be begins a fervent affair.

Chris Curling of Zephyr Films and Marian Macgowan of the Macgowan Film Co. will be the producers on the indie, with Myriad Pictures' Kirk D'Amico, Dan Lupovitz and Marcia Nasatir serving as executive producers. Financing is coming from Myriad, the Australian Film Finance Corp. and BBC Films.

Repped by WMA, Zeta-Jones is currently filming an untitled project for director Scott Hicks. Her more recent credits include The Legend of Zorro, Ocean's Twelve and The Terminal. She is also, according to IMDB, attached to Francesca Joseph's dramedy Rachel's Holiday and to star as Lana Turner in the crime drama Stompanato.


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