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Ben Stiller will direct and star in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

07.20.2011

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, a remake of an old Danny Kaye comedy, has been in the works for years and years. The project once had directors such as Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard linked to it, as well as stars like Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, and Mike Myers.

Now, the guys at Twitch are reporting that Ben Stiller will take both the directorial reins and the title role. The guy had in fact already been rumored to be taking the lead part for months, but is now finally being confirmed. Stiller's acting/directing gigs have yielded comedy gems like ZOOLANDER and TROPIC THUNDER, so this is likely a very good thing.

Here's the lowdown on the Danny Kaye original (via Amazon):

If there's one movie Danny Kaye fans fondly remember, it's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The versatile comedian--also an unsurpassed song-and-dance man--plays a henpecked, thriller-genre book writer suddenly enmeshed in a real adventure involving the (literal) girl of his dreams (Virginia Mayo). Initially criticized for not staying true to the more melancholic sensibility of author James Thurber's original story (Thurber allegedly offered producer Samuel Goldwyn $10,000 to not make the film), it not only works as an independent story, but remains highly entertaining and wears well upon repeated viewing. Kaye's milquetoast Walter fantasizes distractedly about being heroic, whether a gunslinger, an Air Force pilot, or a riverboat gambler. His "Anatole of Paris" number, in which Walter fancies himself a French hat designer who, in the end, declares he hates women, is nothing short of brilliant. That number, like many of Kaye's trademark patter deliveries, was penned by his wife, Sylvia Fine. Kaye benefits from a wonderful supporting cast: Mayo; Boris Karloff as maniacal Dr. Hugo Hollingshead; Faye Bainter as Walter's repressive but lively mother; Ann Rutherford as his suspicious fiancée Gertrude; and Gordon Jones as Tubby, who not only has designs on Gertrude, but provides the villain in Walter's fantasies.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is expected to start shooting in January.
Extra Tidbit: For a great Danny Kaye flick, check out THE COURT JESTER.
Source: Twitch

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