With Zoolander 2 not looking like it’ll be moving forward in the near future, Ben Stiller is putting his focus towards a different starring project. According to Deadline, the actor is intent on starring in a reboot of the Walter Mitty character, who first appeared in the James Thurber short story in 1939 and made his film debut in Danny Kaye‘s 1947 movie.
Sharing a title with that picture, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it’s been written by Steve Conrad, who found success writing Will Smith‘s The Pursuit of Happyness. Stiller‘s involvement apparently has Fox excited, and they’re hoping to get a “cinematic director” who can “mix action with a PG rating, and get the picture ready for a late fall start.”
The development process for it has been long, with actors like Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen, along with directors such as Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard all being interested at some point. Gore Verbinski signed on for the directing job in June, but his commitment to Lone Ranger, in addition to the fact that the story doesn’t mention him, makes me think that he won’t be doing this. The script was the issue, but Stiller was apparently very happy with what Conrad did, and development has sped up since it was completed.
Meanwhile, the actor has a Broadway play, The House of Blue Leaves, premiering on April 26th, which he’ll be starring in with Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. In addition, he’ll be re-teaming with his Greenberg director Noah Baumbach for While We’re Young, which starts shooting in June.
The plot synopsis of the original film can be found below:
“Walter Mitty, a daydreaming pulp-fiction writer with an overprotective mother, likes to imagine that he is a hero who experiences fantastic adventures. His dream becomes true when he accidentally meets a mysterious woman who hands him a little black book. According to her, it contains the locations of the Dutch crown jewels hidden since World War II. Soon, Mitty finds himself in the middle of a confusing conspiracy and has to admit that being a hero in real life isn’t that easy.”
Are you happy that Stiller is taking on the lead role? Would you want to see another film about the character?