David Copperfield baffles audiences with his illusions and David Blaine impresses with endurance acts and close-up magical mysteries but it was Harry Houdini that first brought misapprehension and escape into the magic mainstream. And it is Adrien Brody that will bring this exceptional stunt performer and his incredible life to TV screens in Houdini, a show charting his escapades from poverty as Eastern European Ehrich Weiss to worldwide fame as The Great Harry Houdini.

Adrien Brody plays The Great Harry Houdini in the miniseries, Houdini

The four-hour miniseries will air in two-parts for Brits on Channel 4 starting on Sunday 7 September at 9pm and for Americans on the History Channel on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 September.

Of course, Brody has big boots to fill taking on the role of the world’s greatest celebrity. Fortunately, as an Academy-Award winner, he is no stranger to adulation and won a Best Actor Award for his performance in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist in 2002.

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It would also seem that the American actor has more in common with the great magician than at first glance when Brody explained to The City Times that he was drawn to the Houdini story because of a personal infatuation with magic from a young age.

"I started learning magic and dreaming of becoming a magician as early as 6 years old and Houdini was a big inspiration," Brody said. "Acting followed this introduction to performance."

The Great Harry Houdini
The Great Harry Houdini was a master of illusion and escapism

Brody is known for his method-acting and goes deep into his roles: learning ventriloquism for his performance in The Dummy and how to play the piano in The Pianist. But it would seem that he draws the line at high-altitude bridge jumping such as Houdini attempted when he jumped from a bridge into a hole chopped in ice over a frozen river.

Brody told The New York Daily News: "[it] tells you a lot about Houdini. He did some dangerously crazy stuff."

MORE: Harry Houdini Role Is Childhood Dream Come True For Adrien Brody

In the series, Houdini takes Brody through fame, espionage, spiritualism, stunts, visions and mastery of illusion with Kristen Connolly of House of Cards notoriety joining the cast as Bess Houdini, the love of Harry’s life and his magical partner in crime.