harvey remake

Hey, what do the original content kings at Netflix have in store for us next? How about a remake of the 1950 Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey? Would that interest you? I sure hope so, because Netflix is doing it. In the original film, Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, an eccentric fellow who claims he can see an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit named Harvey. Needless to say, everyone thinks he’s nuts. More on the Netflix Harvey remake below.

Harvey

Is the 1950 comedy Harvey a recognizable enough title to attract modern audiences? We’ll find out soon enough. Deadline reports Netflix is moving ahead with a Harvey remake written by J. David Stem and David N. Weiss. The original film, based on Mary Chase’s play of the same name, was a hit with both audiences and critics when it was released. And this Netflix take on the material won’t be the first remake. In 1996, the late magician and actor Harry Anderson starred in an updated Harvey made for TV. For a while, Steven Spielberg hoped to make a remake of his own – first with Tom Hanks, and then later with Robert Downey Jr. It never got off the ground.

Here’s the original film’s synopsis:

The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.) After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places.

There are no specific details on how this new Harvey will play out, but it’s safe to assume it will be set in the present day. I’m curious to see how this whole endeavor is approached, because in the original film, we never see or hear Harvey. I have a feeling that won’t fly as well in the 21st century, which makes me think this remake will make the mistake of inserting a CGI rabbit into the mix. And that would be kind of terrible. I also wonder who they’ll get to star in this thing – Jimmy Stewart could sell such a film, but is there even a modern-day equivalent to Jimmy Stewart? None spring to mind. The writing team handling this previously wrote Shrek 2 and the Smurfs films, which doesn’t give me much confidence, but it’s still too early to tell.

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