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Robert Downey Jr. Might Be in Steven Spielberg's Harvey

by
September 15, 2009

Robert Downey Jr.

Earlier today we keyed you in on the status of Steven Spielberg's forthcoming Abraham Lincoln biopic, but there was a tidbit of information hidden within that same Variety update that otherwise might have gotten overlooked. Apparently Robert Downey Jr. might be the top contender to fill the lead role in Spielberg's remake of the 1950 Jimmy Stewart film Harvey. In a fleeting mention the article simply says: "Spielberg is presently focusing on his 'reimagining' of Harvey, with Robert Downey Jr. possibly playing the man who sees an invisible rabbit." Blink and you could've missed it. Thankfully we've brought it to your attention.

Much of the talk about who would fill Jimmy Stewart's shoes for this contemporary Harvey immediately focused on an actor who has been referred to as our generations' Jimmy Stewart. That actor is Tom Hanks. But Variety has said that the correlation between Hanks and Stewart is the very reason that Hanks won't do the picture. Still, Downey is a perfect choice for this somewhat eccentric role. He has a very genuine persona and everything he says sounds like it's right off the top of his head anyway. And, just the fact that he would be collaborating with Spielberg makes this all the more desirable. Who do you want to see in Harvey?

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  • http://www.firstshowing.net Ethan Anderton
    I just want everyone to know that the attached picture is awesome because it's not the peace symbol he's giving, it's a rabbit that he's making with his fingers. At least that's what I've decided. You're welcome!
  • Kevin
    Unless he is going to be wearing a giant bunny suit, he will NOT be playing the role of Harvey since Harvey is the invisible rabbit.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Ethan Anderton
    Thanks, Kevin! My bad...got caught up in a writing frenzy, and didn't even remember that Harvey wasn't also the name of the lead character. But we've fixed it! Besides, Downey in a rabbit suit would be pretty great.
  • annonymous
    I can't wait. RDJ is the perfect choice. He is an extremely talented actor and god knows he's alittle eccentric already, so I'd say he'll do a fantastic job playing Elwood P. Dowd. If anyone could be truly convincing at talking to a 6ft. invisible rabbit-I think RDJ is the only man for the job. He has the acting abilities for the comedy and drama involved in Harvey.
  • xerxex
    great news RDJ in a remake of the awesome film Harvey? Sign me up!
  • Jonathan
    I wish they wouldn't remake this movie, the original is a classic! Enough with the remakes!
  • dave13
    so normally I denounce remakes. However, Harvey is an amazing movie, and RDJ is an amazing actor who in my eyes can currently do no wrong. Everything I've seen him in lately has greatly benefited from his acting. So, I too believe that if they are to remake Harvey then RDJ should be Elwood. Also, maybe then people won't look at me crazy when I reference the movie. Gosh, am I the only young adult who watches '50s films?
  • Jay
    JESUS CHRIST!!!! First Lestat....now this.....Does this guy have to be the top contender in EVERY new movie that gets greenlit?????? Look I get it...we love him yadda, yadda, yadda. First it was Tom Hanks, then some years ago it was Jude Law, then it was Johnny Depp, now it is Robert Downey Jr. Every few years we get the new male lead who has to star in EVERY new major movie to be made for the next two years!! We can't give some other guy....a chance???? Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Kevin Spacey?????
  • annonymous
    Jay, Robert was never going to play Lestat that was a rumour. His PR people announced that it was. Then you answered your own question (with the exception of maybe Jude Law). Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr are 3 of the best actors out there today. Two of them Johnny and Robert are the only true "character" actors that are acting right now. A character actor is someone who enjoys literally becoming the character they are playing, by changing their own appearance and mannerisms for the role. Then when off camera they act like themselves again. Robert and Johnny look different in every role they play. They enjoy changing their appearance and getting into a role wholeheartedly. None of the characters they do look the same. These two can also act in any field also-Drama, Action, Comedy, Adventure etc. (They are not Brad Pitt or George Clooney, those 2 have never really changed their appearance for any role over the years.) For certain movies, you always hire the best. If you want someone with ,excuse the phrase shape-shifting ability, then you pay the money for that person. Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. are known for these abilities. Well those and being excentric.
  • Jackie
    I'm not going to say that Robert isn't a talented actor and deserves his second rise to fame. But Spielberg should not persue remaking Harvey!! The classic deserves to remain a classic. I don't think a remake will be better than James' performance. I doubt I'll go see it because I love that movie so much. I'm only in my twenties but I know a great movie when I see it. Again no disrespect to Robert or Spielberg but they should stay away.
  • http://www.andreascliment.com Andreas Climent
    If they really have to remake Harvey, Spielberg and RDJ are a good choice, but I'd much rather not see a remake at all. The movie is a classic and stands well on its own. What made the original so great was James Stewart's charming way to play the role. With that said, if the basic premise can be turned in a new direction instead of making a copy of the original movie, I guess it could be fun to see.
  • Allen Reeve
    ? why try to remake somthing that a you cannot make any better, the film harvey was all way's assoiatord with jimmy stewart so why make a remake, spielberg and other Director's should i beleve consantrate on new film project's that have not been made. Remake after remake, what next why not make a remake of all the classic's like, white christmas, the ten comanment's, Ben Hur even E.T it just make's everything stale.
  • Jay
    # 9: As I said in my post...I get it...we all love him ....yadda, yadda, yadda!!!! The guy is good I acknowledged that but that doesn't mean I want to see him in EVERY motion picture ever made. There are MANY other great CHARACTER actors in Hollywood...if you will reread my post I named 3 of them at the end... so to make the argument that he is a good character actor does not drive the nail in the coffin because there are several great character actors out there who could play Harvey effectively. It's a business, I know, and the new hot commodity will get all the roles while he is the talk of the town..but that doesn't mean I WANT to see him in eveything!!! And as a side point....Check out "12 Monkeys", "Fight Club" "True Romance" "Snatch" and tell me again that Brad Pitt never changes his appearance for a role!!
  • SlashBeast
    Harvey is a classic! Anytime you remake a film that's widely considered a classic, odds are it's going to be inferior to the original. I highly doubt that the remake will end up being anywhere near as memorable as the original. As for RDJ, I feel he's overexposed (much like Seth Rogen). I'm already sick of him, and I suspect people will be too.
  • Governor
    Didn't they already remake Harvey as Donnie Darko?
  • annonymous
    Actually I am not sick of RDJ he is not in as many things as Brad Pitt, Leonardo Decaprio and Johnny Depp. Them I am truly sick of. They make at least 3-4 pictures a year. RDJ only makes 2 a year so far. George Clooney even made 3 that came out this year and they are all coming out back to back. Now that is serious burn out. RDJ doesn't do that many a year. Those are truly the ones I am burned out on.
  • 1-7
    Yeah, I'm tired of RDJ, and Spielberg has sold his soul.
  • anonymous
    @Jay: It's already been stated as to why he's on the list. It isn't a matter of "As I said in my post…I get it…we all love him ….yadda, yadda, yadda!!!!" if you'd actually listen it's not only that but that simply put he's one of the stars who currently is thought of as the go to actor (among a list of actors I'm sure). It's just the way it is at the moment. I say "at the moment" because like most A-list actors they all share a time where they are the actor to go to when studios want a certain kind of actor. About Brad Pitt, he is someone that while push comes to shove he will change for a film (though not necessarily like character actors.. I'd say he'd never go to that length for a film).. his style doesn't change much. However that's not to say it's bad but that's simply who he is. He and George Clooney do have an "old hollywood" approach like Cary Grant. They look nearly the same (if not the same) in every they do.. For Brad Pitt this has been the case for many years and only a handful of films have deviated from this. @16: I agree. Robert Downey Jr hasn't actually done that many films. It's only that he's done one huge blockbuster and that made it feel as if he was going to be in everything. In 2006 he did four films but they were all smaller films (with possibly the larger animated film A Scanner Darkly) followed with three films in 2007 and two in 2008 (although he's also done voice work).. It seems that people label actors with the "overdone" tag if they've done at least one blockbuster in addition to smaller roles because of the media exposure. Because in 2008 RDJ did both Tropic Thunder and Iron Man both were larger films so he got a lot of media exposure from those two films which is probably why people are saying "he is overdone! We know he's great! yadda! yadda! yadda!" but it's more like the fact that the media hype surrounding the two films he did made it seem as if he was doing several films that year.. when it was actually only two. I do think that he will only get overdone if he does several movies in a year and most are blockbusters because I don't think several smaller films will be the same (in terms of hype) as to one or two blockbuster films.
  • Glass
    Yeah, this guy is overexposed, he needs to chill the fuck out.

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