Back in April, we reported that Ben Stiller was in talks to star in the remake of the 1947 comedy/fantasy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Although no directors were attached to the pic at that time, names like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Gore Verbinski were being thrown around. Flash forward three months and reports are filing in that the director search has finally landed on a familiar name: Ben Stiller. Per Twitch, Stiller will pull double duty as star and director of the remake which 20th Century Fox reportedly wants to have in front of cameras around January 2012.
For those unfamiliar, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty originally starred Danny Kaye in the title role as well as Virginia Mayo and Boris Karloff. The pic centers on Walter Mitty, a magazine proofreader who is incapable of standing up for himself in the real world, so he retreats to a fantasy where he becomes his poised, confident opposite. As for Stiller, his previous feature directorial output includes: Tropic Thunder, Zoolander, The Cable Guy, and Reality Bites (all of which he also had roles in). He can next be seen wearing his acting hat alongside Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Casey Affleck in director Brett Ratner’s action/comedy Tower Heist due out on November 4th of this year. If you’re interested in learning more about the Walter Mitty, check out a more detailed synopsis of the 1947 original after the jump.
Here’s a synopsis for 1947’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [from Fandango]:
Danny Kaye stars as Walter, a milquetoast proofreader for a magazine publishing firm. Walter is constitutionally incapable of standing up for himself, which is why his mother (Fay Bainter) has been able to arrange a frightful marriage between her son and the beautiful but overbearing Gertrude Griswold (Ann Rutherford). As he muses over the lurid covers of the magazines put out by his firm, Walter retreats into his fantasy world, where he is heroic, poised, self-assured, and the master of his fate. Glancing at the cover of a western periodical, Walter fancies himself the two-gun “Perth Amboy Kid”; a war magazine prompts Walter to envision himself as a fearless RAF pilot; and so on.
Throughout all his imaginary adventures, a gorgeous mystery woman weaves in an out of the proceedings. Imagine Walter’s surprise when his dream girl shows up in the flesh in the person of Rosalind van Horn (Virginia Mayo). The girl is being pursued by a gang of jewel thieves headed by Dr. Hugo Hollingshead (Boris Karloff), a clever psychiatrist who manages to convince Walter that he’s simply imagining things again, and that Rosalind never existed. At long last, Walter vows to live his life in the “now” rather than in the recesses of his mind: he rescues Rosalind from the gang’s clutches, tells his mother and Gertrude where to get off, and fast-talks his way into a better position with the publishing firm.