DreamWorks has purchased the original screenplay Voices From the Dead from Changeling writer J. Michael Straczynski. The thriller delves into the real-life relationship between magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.
Houdini and Doyle, who was a leading Spiritualist at the time, met in 1920 and became friends for a while despite long-running arguments about the existence of the supernatural. Doyle included a chapter in his book The Edge of the Unknown that claimed that Houdini had psychic powers, while Houdini often used his acts to debunk fraudulent claims about the spirit world.
Straczynski's script creates a fictional account of the two teaming up with a psychic to solve a set of murders in 1920's New York.
The CAA-repped Straczynski also co-wrote the 2009 action thriller Ninja Assassin, and he has screenplays in development at Disney (Shattered Union), Warner Bros. (Forbidden Planet) and Marvel (Silver Surfer). In TV, he was a writer-producer for Babylon 5, Jeremiah and Murder, She Wrote, among others.