By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 20, 2011 at 2:51AM
After years in development, it looks like a contemporary take on the classic 1947 film "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" starring Danny Kaye is finally going to move forward. Over the years directors like Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Gore Verbinski came and went with folks like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson looking at the lead role. The project took a new direction over the spring when Ben Stiller came aboard in the starring role and it looks like he has such a clear vision for the project, he's just gonna make the damn thing himself.
Stiller will once again pull double duty as he will now direct and star in the film according to Twitch. Word is that a hunt for a director was still going strong, with Gore Verbinski said to be in the mix at one point -- he was attached last summer -- but we presume with "The Lone Ranger" developing into a go project that will shoot this fall, he dropped out of contention. The film has a script by Steve Conrad (”The Weather Man,” “The Pursuit Of Happyness”) and back in the spring was said to be Stiller's next gig, and we presume with him now sitting in the director's chair, that will definitely be the case.
The film follows a mild-mannered man who works at a book publishing company who is walked over by nearly everyone in his life, but finds his escape through his daydreams where he can imagination any kind of life he chooses -- but unfortunately, those idle thoughts seem to cause him even more strife when he's back in reality. Things take a twist when the literal girl of his dreams appears in real life and of course, along the way, he finds the stones to stand up to those that bully him. There is obviously a lot of directions the material can go in, so it will be interesting to see if its developed as a family film like "Night At The Museum" or something with a little more edge.
Right now, Stiller's calendar is clear as he's wrapped Brett Ratner's "Tower Heist" and word on "Neighborhood Watch," his potential reteam with Vince Vaughn, seems to have gone quiet for the moment. And oh yeah, as for "While We're Young" with Noam Baumbach that has been moving in fits and starts but aiming for a summer start? We're hearing that the project isn't quite ready to roll in front of cameras yet so there will likely be a bit of delay on that one. So for now, Stiller returns to studio filmmaking but with a project that will definitely serve as fertile ground for his comedic imagination.