Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
There’s something in the air of late that has projects that have simmered for years finally coming to life. On the Road may finally be moving forward, the Mighty Mouse adaptation is happening again, and now there may be steps taken on one of the films that has kicked around Hollywood for years: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
If development hell is like a South Florida rest home, the remake of Danny Kaye’s 1947 comedy is the 110-year old guy sitting in the corner muttering to himself as he tries to build the Taj Mahal out of playing cards. Numerous actors and directors have tried to make the film, but now there’s word that an offer is out to Sacha Baron Cohen to play Danny Kaye’s role. Could he help this one finally escape the home?
Pajiba says an offer is out to Cohen, which would make him the latest in a long line of talent to possibly be part of the film’s legacy. Jim Carrey and Owen Wilson were previously attached, and the role was last associated with Mike Myers.
A decade ago Steven Spielberg was attached to direct, and the film has passed across the desks of Ron Howard, Mark Waters and Chuck Russell, with work done on various scripts by Zach Helm, Richard LaGravenese, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant and more.
So now Fox is working the Mitty angle again, albeit with no director currently attached. Pajiba theorizes that the studio’s option on the rights is close to disappearing, which would see the film go back to MGM.
(Whatever that will mean in the next few months, given where MGM is now.)
The current script is by Peter Morgan, and it jumps off from the original by having Walter Mitty be a “timid mega-store owner” who dreams of being a hero. He’s given the chance to prove himself and save the day.
Here’s the opening for the Danny Kaye original, and under it the Warner Bros. cartoon From A to Zzzz, where director Chuck Jones did his own wonderful Walter Mitty riff.