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Ben Stiller Circling WALTER MITTY!

Nordling here.

Danny Kaye's THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is most certainly a classic, based on the short story by James Thurber, and people have been trying to remake it for years, including Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard.  I remember reading several years back that Jim Carrey was going to star in it, but that never coalesced.  It's always been a favorite film of mine, and the escapist fantasies of Kaye's character were well realized on screen.

Deadline is reporting that Ben Stiller looks to remake the film as apparently Steve Conrad's (THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS) script was good enough for Stiller to want to sign on.  No word on a director yet, but now that the script is finished to satisfaction, I'm sure that will be happening soon.  Perhaps Stiller himself may want to direct it - MITTY is probably more warmhearted than the films Stiller has directed so far, so they may want to find a director more suited to the task, but Stiller's directed some funny comedies, and one could say that THE CABLE GUY is a darker version of the story, with Carrey's character escaping into the fantasies of television.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 8, 2011, 7:53 a.m. CST his career circles the drain.

    by Cletus Van Damme

  • April 8, 2011, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Stiller's career is strong

    by Bobo_Vision

    In terms of the money his films rake in....even though those Focker movies, Night at the Museum, and Madagascar films all suck. <p> But I'm looking forward to Tower Heist with him and Eddie Murphy directed by the Rat Man. Eddie is great in ensemble casts, so it should be good.

  • April 8, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Original story

    by Quackfu

    is laughably short, but entertaining. Always amazed me that they stretched it into a full length movie. But most of that could be chalked up to Danny Kaye. Don't think Stiller has that same charisma.

  • April 8, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST


    by Dharma4

    Norbit is a masterpiece, innit

  • April 8, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    He's crossed over to the dark side.

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    He's the Baby Boomers' favorite Gen Xer thanks to those focking Fuckers movies and the Night at the Museum fucktillogy. My in-laws *love* him. He's inherited Robin Williams' & Billy Crystal's film careers simultaneously. He's currently stuck in Williams' '90s CGI shitfest phase.

  • April 8, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Michel Gondry

    by Raggles Wimpole

    Should direct this with Daniel Day Lewis as Walter Mitty.

  • April 8, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Hope this gets made finally

    by ltgalloway

    I thought Mike Myers was attached at one point too? It's been floating around forever, so hopefully this one will get off the ground if only so we can get a re-release of the Danny Kaye version. I really hope it get's made and given the respect it needs. People give Ben a lot of crap for some of his films, but I think he's fully capable of nailing this one. Here's hoping!

  • April 8, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Michel Gondry is not a bad idea.

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    He would make the fantasy sequences understated, lo-fi and surreal instead of hyper-cartoony.

  • April 8, 2011, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Norbit was shit, but that wasn't an ensemble

    by Bobo_Vision

    When Eddie does ensembles, like Bowfinger or Dreamgirls....he gives great performances.

  • April 8, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST

    The Best Version of Walter Mitty

    by Aquatarkusman

    Or at least a variation on Walter Mitty, was Billy Liar by John Schlesinger. Personally, I'm hoping that Ben stars in Next of Kin II, except that it's a documentary and he's dropped in the middle of West Virginia moonshine country wearing a "BATF" jacket.

  • April 8, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Steve Carrell?

    by dcervera

    Yeah, Ben Stiller can probably do a good job with this part, but Steve Carrell would knock it out of the park.

  • April 8, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST

    In new version, Walter fantasizes about having a vagina.

    by cookylamoo

  • April 8, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    I'm actually amazed anyone working at AICN

    by V'Shael

    remembers Danny Kaye.

  • April 8, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Coming soon ... The CRITIC !!

    by Ninja Nerd

    A new superhero / vigilante story of a film fan who becomes The CRITIC. His mission? Beating the hell out of every actor who signs on to fuck over a classic film. Ben Stiller isn't fit to carry Danny Kaye's piss in a cup, much less take on Walter Mitty. Keep in mind his initials are BS. If he fucks this up, he'll get REVIEWED. With a hammer head shaped like a star. He doesn't want to get 4 STARS from The CRITIC.

  • April 8, 2011, 10:26 a.m. CST

    should be illegal

    by abe

    It should be illegal for Hollywood to even consider let alone remake any movie that Danny Kaye made. If they ever hint at remaking The Court Jester - the world will end.

  • April 8, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    No. No! Nononononononono!

    by maxwello

    Walter Mitty is an amazing, sweet movie. Danny Kaye was perfect as the milquetoast who learned to stand up for himself. There is no place for Stiller's "let's throw wrenches at men's crotches" kind of humor. If it must be done, which I think is wrong, but I can't control, I agree with the earlier post about Steve Carrell. His Maxwell Smart cycled believably through bumbling and brilliant; schlemiel and hero, and you wanted him to win the girl, even if you thought it unbelievable that he might.

  • April 8, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Remake a Danny Kaye film?

    by The StarWolf

    Why not make an original film instead? Odds of success are vastly higher.

  • April 8, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST

    "as his carreer slowly circles the drain..."

    by Coughlins Laws

  • with a better track record than Stiller. Don't all his movies make hundreds of millions of dollars? True, they went to the well too many times with the Focker movies, but so what? Did anyone here NOT like Tropic Thunder? That was pretty much all him. And as far as the Night at the Museum movies, you're not supposed to like them. They're kids movies. Some of you people are pretty joyless individuals that take life WAYYYY too seriously. Do you find ANYTHING funny?

  • April 8, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST

    dixieholster - shut the fuck up, ok?

    by SmokingRobot

    You like Stargate, we get it. Hell, I like Stargate. But stop crapping in every thread.

  • April 8, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Goodness no!!

    by david starling

    I wouldn't touch a Ben Stiller version of Walter Mitty with a doo-doo-covered bargepole. He should stay the fuck away!! Give this man a fucking obscure Diva remake or something. This man isn't even a poor man's Danny Kaye!!

  • April 8, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Stiller's best performance:

    by Tristan

    Permanent Midnight. Not a comedy (a drama with some pretty funny scenes in it), but a little gem. Seek it out.

  • April 8, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    neuromantik: totally agree

    by WriteForTheEdit

    If only Stiller would choose to do more serio-comic work like that more often.

  • April 8, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I also have a huge soft-spot for "Mystery Men"

    by WriteForTheEdit

    That was pretty close to being really awesome. Just didn't quite make it.

  • The only good thing I can see from this remake is the possibility of a dvd/bluray re-release of the original film, which has be out of print for nearly a decade, at least for dvds' region 1.

  • April 8, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Stiller's best performance: is actually

    by Tigger Tales

    Heavyweights. Tony Perkis is the substance that all of Ben's later roles are a mere shadow of. Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

  • April 8, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    @coughlins laws: Do you seriously want to defend Stiller's track record?

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Ok, then: The bad: -Mystery Men -Zoolander -The Royal Tenenbaums -Duplex -Along Came Polly -Starsky & Hutch -Envy -Dodgeball -Meet The Fockers -Little Fockers -Night at the Museum -NATM II -School For Scouondrels -and the icing on the cake, The Heartbreak Kid. Dude, it was so bad that The Rock's "Game Plan" kiddie movie beat it two weeks in a row. The good: -There's Something About Mary -Meet The Parents (on the fence here, but I'll give you this one) -Madagascar -His cameo in Anchorman -His stint on Curb Your Enthusiasm -Tropic Thunder So, 6 good things out of the above 20 projects makes for a good track record? I'm not sure if you're arguing quality of box office receipts, but the lack of quality is evident on the above list. As far as receipts go, Adam Sandler's got him beat.

  • April 8, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry. That last sentence should read:

    by Cletus Van Damme

    I'm not sure if you're arguing quality OR box office receipts, but the lack of quality is evident on the above list. As far as receipts go, Adam Sandler's got him beat.

  • April 8, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    cletus van damme

    by HansBubi

    I told myself not to immediately assume you were trolling, so here's my question: By including The Royal Tenenbaums on your "bad" list, do you mean the movie was bad or Ben Stiller's performance in it was bad? Thank you for your time.

  • April 8, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Warner Bros. Cartoon

    by filegumbo

    Does anyone remember the Warner Brothers cartoon where a little kid in classroom (I am remembering a nerdy bird like chicken little) keeps daydreaming and brought back to reality by his teacher? It is clearly Walter Mitty.

  • April 8, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by top_cat_james

    "From A to Z-Z-Z-Z"

  • April 8, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by filegumbo

    Thanks! I have all of the Golden collections. Is it on one of those?

  • April 8, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Stiller is still funny.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    So fuck you guys

  • April 8, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST


    by top_cat_james

    No, but its included on"Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection".

  • April 8, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by Cletus Van Damme

    I was limiting myself to his performances.

  • April 9, 2011, 1:28 a.m. CST

    cletus van damme

    by BadMrWonka

    the problem is, you originally said his career is circling the drain. you didn't say anything about the quality of his movies. Stiller is a HUGE box office success by any measure. so, you were wrong, period.

  • April 9, 2011, 2:21 a.m. CST

    The Problem with Stiller...

    by sailingmaster

    He's got all the charisma of a three day old corpse. As for Walter Mitty, get Steve Carell.

  • so cool

  • April 9, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Can we please have the original on Blu-Ray? DVD?

    by Snake Foreskin

    Something? It's not even available in the U.S. outside of bootlegged versions probably dubbed from a crappy VHS. This is an amazing movie and deserves to be released on Blu-Ray. Get on that, people! Forget about a remake until you've done the original justice in a Blu-Ray release!

  • April 9, 2011, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Stiller isn't really that funny, but Tropic Thunder was great!

    by Mandolorian

    He seems to be following the Adam Sandler path, and that is not a good thing. He has talent, and needs to take more risks. Romantic comedies are all crap.

  • April 9, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST


    by Cletus Van Damme

    I get what you're saying, but is one "Tropic Thunder" worth sitting through two nights at the museum and three Focker installments?