Ben Stiller circling 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'


Image Credit: Donna Ward/PR Photos; Everett Collection

For years, the idea of remaking the 1947 Danny Kaye comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been kicking around Hollywood. Stars like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell have circled the project — based on a 1939 short story by James Thurber about a perpetual daydreamer who escapes from his mundane existence into his vivid fantasy life — and directors like Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg have considered taking a crack at it, but it’s never been amounted to more than a Mitty-esque pipe dream. Now, though, it may be closer to reality than ever: EW has confirmed that, as first reported by Deadline, Ben Stiller is in talks to sign on to the project, drawn in by the latest pass at the script by Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness). If Stiller — who is about to star in the latest Broadway revival of the play The┬áHouse of Blue Leaves — locks onto the film and a director climbs on board (maybe Stiller himself could even do the job), 20th Century Fox could conceivably get The Secret Life of Walter Mitty into production later this year.

Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • Fridge

    I’m a huge fan of the original, really a fan of anything Danny Kaye did. I’m not sure how I feel about Ben Stiller being in a remake of Mitty…you just can’t top the scene where Danny Kaye is the RAF pilot in WWII doing the impersonation of the college music professor. Perhaps they should just leave this one alone.

  • Steve

    As a fan of the original film (and the Thurber short story, for that matter), I’ll keep this short and sweet: “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!”

    • Realangst

      While I might agree that Hollywood’s success rate with remakes would make an investor suicidal, it has some wonderful examples of how it could be done right. I am not opposed to Mr. Stiller taking on the role, I just think he would need to get rid of some of his ticks that even in a good film like “Greenberg” could not hide. The role requires an everyman. Or an oddball like Johnny Deep. Steve Carell, maybe. It would also require a dreamer director. Terry Gilliam comes to mind. Or maybe a foreign director. My point being that the time is ripe for fantasy films like this.

      • Lesly

        Hi Suzy and Ed,Wow! Great to hear you are on your adventure. The maniifgcent scenery and food will make the adventure unforgettably awesome. So proud of you guys.I’m doing well, getting lots of short rides in. In June I’m going to be SAG for two couples riding the entire length of the Katy Trail here in Missouri. Then depending on other commitments I’m planning on riding the length of the Mississippi River from the headwaters to the Gulf or vise-versa.I’d love to be able to visit you once again if not this year maybe next? We could finish my ride down to San Francisco or further?Take care and enjoy the journey!Frank

  • Jesus

    I was wondering whether Sean Pertwee, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Colin Farrell, Will Ferrell, Matthew Broderick, Stuart Townsend, Cillain Murphy, Johnny Depp, Chris O’Dowd, Jack Black, Mark Strong, Jude Law, Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill, James Nebsitt, Jamie Kennedy, Mel Gibson or others will played the part of Walter Mitty or to appear in the film if the script is good and well written as long as they don’t screw this remake up.

    • Jessa

      Frank:You may remember hinavg dinner with Judy and me at our ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas. On Nov 5, 2009, we did a bike ride together. My notes indicate we rode the Wendel Loop near Harper.I enjoyed reading the article about your latest adventure in Adventure Cyclist. After reading about some of your exploits, I’m amazed you are still able to get out of bed in the morning. Last summer we were both fortunate to achieve our goals of riding across the country. Your goal was set many years ago. My goal was set very recently and related to doing something special for my 70th birthday. I didn’t ride as many miles as you did a little over 4,000 miles along the northern tier of states from Anacortes to Bar Harbor. However, I am sure we share many of the same feelings about doing such a trip. It’s an incredible journey and accomplishment.In any event, as I recall in one our e-mail exchanges, you asked that I let you know about any tours in which you might be interested. I have done more than a dozen international tours. Of those, five have been with Rick Bauman three in Southeast Asia and two in Africa. His tours focus on longer distances in areas less traveled. You may be interested in the descriptions of the two tours I have attached.Although I would like to go on the Bhutan trip, I am uncomfortable with sheer dropoffs and, after viewing pictures taken by a friend of mine on a previous tour, I have decided not to subject myself to such situations. On prior tours of Rick’s, I have been in Vietnam [twice], Laos, Burma and Cambodia. Although I very much enjoyed all three tours, I don’t have a strong desire to visit those countries again.If you are interested in either tour, feel free to e-mail me or call me on 989.786.5101.Regards, Ron

  • God

    I was just thinking Terry Gilliam to direct the remake and cast either Johnny Depp or Colin Farrell in the Danny Kaye role as daydreaming nut Walter Mitty, he’s the right excellent choice to direct the film if only he can contributed to the script to make it look beautifully well written even since he recently presented Cohen, an admitted Monty Python fan, with the Peter Sellers Award for comedy at February’s Evening Standard British Film Awards. For the time being, I’ll just have to daydream what such a collaboration might look like.

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