The CW and Yari Film Group are teaming to develop “The Illusionist,” a TV series based on the 2006 period drama film of the same name starring Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti.
The original starred Norton as a magician in 19th Century Vienna who uses his incredible skills to win the heart of a Duchess and save her from the brutal Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) to whom she is betrothed.
The TV series switches around the premise and setting, which will now take place in New York City at the turn of the century. There an illusionist returns home from a decade in prison to find his wife married to the ruthless crime boss who framed him.
The illusionist disguises himself as an underling in the crime lord’s organization, using his sleight-of-hand skills to pull off daring heists, rising through the ranks to win back his beloved and bring down the crime boss.
Mark Hudis (“True Blood”) is writing the pilot script. The original film nabbed $88 million worldwide from a $17 million budget.
The project marks the latest of several new shows The CW has revealed it has in development. Earlier this week they revealed plans to remake the UK series “The Town” about a young man investigating his parent’s suicides. They’ve also hired Adam Karp to pen a drama set to explore a young Charles Darwin and childhood friend Captain Robert FitzRoy’s journey through the Amazon.