The Hollywood Reporter says Randall Wallace — the screenwriter of Braveheart (1995; my comments), Pearl Harbor (2001; my review) and the upcoming Atlas Shrugged, and the director of The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) and We Were Soldiers (2002; my article) — has been tapped to direct The Arcanum:
Adapted from Wheeler’s debut novel, the 1919-set story follows Arthur Conan Doyle as he leads a secret society known as the Arcanum — whose members include magician Harry Houdini, voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft — against a powerful supernatural force that threatens the world. Wheeler is doing a production polish before going out to cast.
Given that Wallace is a big fan of C.S. Lewis, I would think he might have been better suited to the similarly-premised Here There Be Dragons, which is also being turned into a movie. (Or, perhaps even better, a film version of Heaven’s War.) But anyhoo.
Incidentally, Wallace’s good friend Mel Gibson produced — and had a cameo in! — an earlier film that featured both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. It was called FairyTale: A True Story (1997; my review), and Doyle and Houdini were played by Peter O’Toole and Harvey Keitel — but in that film, Doyle was a believer in the supernatural while Houdini was a skeptic.