EXCLUSIVE: William Dear will direct the family film from a screenplay by Marty Colasuonno and Julian Ericsonn.

LA-based Circus Road and Canal Street Films will produce the film, with Glen Reynolds and Michael Emanuel on board as individual producers.

Houdini is scheduled to shoot in Los Angeles in September and centres on a young magician trying to save his family’s animal rescue shelter with the help of a famous escape artist dog on the run from kidnappers.

“We are thrilled that Bill Dear has agreed to direct,” said Circus Road founder Reynolds. “We are big fans of his films and we believe he will deliver a great movie.”

“We will be producing a slate of family films with Circus Road who sold several of our previous productions to US distributors,” said Canal Street Films CEO Emanuel.

“We very excited about the properties that we have developed for this slate.”

Reynolds founded Circus Road Films in 2006 to provide strategic advisory services to filmmakers, with an emphasis on the sale of completed films to North American distributors.

Circus Road has participated in the sale of more than 500 narrative and documentary features, including Newlyweeds to Phase 4 Films and Graceland to Drafthouse Films.