Johnny Depp is being sought for the role of a magician in period mystery Carter Beats The Devil.
The film, based on Glen David Gold's best-selling 2002 novel, tells the story of 1920s illusionist Charles Carter, who impresses in his show by appearing to saw President Warren G Harding in half, but is forced on the run when Harding mysteriously dies shortly after.
Warner Bros is keen to make the project after having it on the back burner for some time and Hollywood hunk Johnny is top of their list to star as the magician, the LA Times 24 Frames blog reports.
A film adaptation of the story has been in the works for some time, and Tom Cruise is said to have looked at developing it shortly after the book was published.
A new version of the script has just been completed and Warner Bros is also seeking a director for the project.
The mystery includes real historical figures and the illusionist's rivalry with an arch-nemesis.