There are few films more beloved than The 1947 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Danny Kaye.
Although the advancement of special effects would make the story a prime candidate for a remake, filmmakers have hesitated to take up the challenge.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise that comedian Ben Stiller has decided to tackle the project. Although, a versatile performer and director his resume doesn’t draw many comparisons to the affable Danny Kaye.
Based on the trailer this looks like a sensitive and ambitious take on the original short story and less the the Danny Kaye film. The use of special effects are prevalent in the trailer. But there is also a sensitivity and quirkiness which may draw comparisons to the works of Michel Gondry or Spike Jonze.
In any event, it appears like Ben Stiller is nailing the tone. I can see the film having a profound effect on audiences who can relate to the life affirming hopes of the working class. Much like the film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.
But the release date clearly points to a more ambitious goal then a modest performing cult comedy. It’s being released right in the wheelhouse of prime awards season consideration. Christmas day in fact.
It’s hard to say if the film will garner that kind of attention. This year is shaping up to be a very competitive awards season with films such as 12 Years a Slave, All is Lost, The Monuments Men and American Hustle already garnering significant buzz.
But it’s an exciting opportunity for Ben Stiller. Although his works are admittedly silly and over-the-top comedies which are successful and enjoyable. It’s great to see Stiller stretch his artistic wings a bit like he did in his early work in independent films.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott Kathryn Hahn, Shirley Maclaine and Sean Penn. The film is directed by Ben Stiller and is written by Steve Conrad and James Thurber. The Secret life of Walter Mitty is scheduled for release December 25, 2013.
Ben Stiller directs and stars in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.