Steven Spielberg is Directing a Remake of 'Harvey' Next

August 2, 2009


Last week we wrote about how Steven Spielberg was interested in directing a Matt Helm movie, although he still hadn't chosen what he would be directing next. Well, he has chosen his next project, and it's a contemporary adaptation of Mary Chase's play Harvey. The play is about a man and his friendship with an invisible, six-foot tall rabbit. 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks will co-produce the project. "I am very happy to be working again with my friend Tom Rothman who shepherded us through Minority Report, and with Elizabeth and Carla, who I'm looking forward to collaborating with." Spielberg said in a press release.

Harvey was previously adapted into a movie in 1950 with James Stewart. Novelist Jonathan Tropper has written the adaptation for the new version that Spielberg will direct. It's a wonderful play, as I was actually involved in a production of it years ago, but it's not at all anything I'd imagine someone like Spielberg would be interested in. No casting is in place yet, but pre-production is to begin immediately, with filming set to begin after the first of the year. I'm very curious to see what he'll do with this, as I expect him to twist the plot a bit in ways we haven't seen before. We'll keep you updated on casting and other details as they arrive!

Find more posts in Movie News, Opinions

Discover more around the web:

  • I'm not at all excited for this. Spielberg's bread and butter is sci fi movies, and that's what the majority of his fans want to see from him. At least we have up and coming young directors to take his place.
  • Hari Seldon
    No one can take Spielberg’s place; especially no one within the current excuse of so called new sci fi directors. They may make movies, but they are not even on the same planet when it comes to Spielberg.
  • Quanah
    Tom Hanks. Period. That's the casting.
  • immature
    A director cannot limit himself to what 'the majority of fans want to see from him.'
  • Um... since when did Spielberg become a sci-fi director? Jaws wasn't sci-fi, it was a thriller. Indiana Jones wasn't sci-fi until they horned it into the 4th film (it was an adventure series). Empire of the Sun... The Color Purple... Hook... Schindler's List... Amistad... Saving Private Ryan... Catch Me If You Can... The Terminal... You make a few sci-fi blockbusters amidst a varied and brilliant career and suddenly you're typecast as a "big and exciting and scifi" director? I think you are severely, SEVERELY misinterpreting the man and his work. If anything, I look more forward to his whimsical dramas than his dime-a-dozen blockbuster action films. Remember War of the Worlds? He should stick to what he does best - directing the finest actors in the world in the finest dramatic roles possible. If anything, the only reason he does so well at science fiction is because he chooses films that stress the characters above all else - for instance, E.T. is more about the friendship between ET and Elliot and less about him being a space martian. I think Harvey is a perfect choice for him (despite being a *AAAHHHITBURNS* remake). He is remarkably talented at bringing out deep and heartwarming performances from his male leads so this should be another in a long line of winners for him.
  • Jay
    Okay...Amen # 5!!!! Yeah sorry to pile on #1 but 5,4 & 2 have it exactly right. Spielberg is so much more than a "Sci Fi" director! One can even argue that his dramas ( The Color Purple, Schindler's List, etc. ) are his best movies. So let's not short change one of THE great directors of all time. #3...hold up on that. That casting would be too obvious, expected and just plain boring!!!! Do we have to see Tom play yet another All American man in an Oscar bait movie????? How about a little more unconventional for the casting of this.....
  • Fuelbot
    #6 - Zach Galifanakis. BAM.
  • Dave Lister, JMC
    I agree with #6 on the casting issue. My suggestion: Throw Liam Neeson a bone. He has long been rumored to be playing the title role in Spielberg's supposed Abe Lincoln project. I think Neeson could do good things, with a role like this.
  • Xerxex
    #7 Jason Schwartzman POW.
  • Xerxex
    Jay Tom Hanks is The American Man!
  • Tra la la la la di da
    Idiots for thinking he's a Sci-fi...or is ir Sifi? *rolls eyes* Either way, I'm sorry but this classic is abotu to be destroyed. This was like remaking The Producers. How luch long til they screw over every movie like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone with the Wind, Ben Hur, etc?
  • jules
    If you got Tom Hanks for this, South Park would be on the money with the prediction of "Me and Mr Hankey." btw: this is a bad idea anyway.
  • Matt
    Wait, a remake...I thought Donnie Darko was a remake of Harvey already. lol.
  • David Banner
    Casting: anyone know of a friendly satanist to fill James Stewart´s iconic role? :)
  • Mutt
    I remember Jim Carrey doing an interview a few years ago and doing a line or two from Harvey. I could see him in the part.
  • Hari Seldon
    Damn Good point #13!!! LOL
  • Ashley
    I couldn't have said it better #5. You saved me a lot of typing!
  • Voice of Reason
  • Quanah
    #6 Fair enough. I actually thought about this last night. I can see Zach Braff doing this role. I can also see quite easily John Krasinski. If you wanted to go older, how about George Clooney? In the end, I'd love, love, love to see Viggo Mortensen.
  • scm1000
    BAD IDEA. I do NOT want to see this remade. If you've seen the original, you know that it's a wonderful classic in the Frank Capra tradition that's pretty much perfect just as it is. It's a story in the old "Hollywood magic" style, and that's a style Spielberg just doesn't do. I think this will turn out to be a major disappointment. That being said, the only way I could see it come close to working is with Tom Hanks.
  • kitano0
    I dunno...I initially thought this was a bad idea, and I still have reservations. But, I would like to see a version without some of the bad acting that surrounded Stewart in the classic version. I'm speaking specifically about the actors that played the doctor and the nurse. Jesse White's job was also a little off playing the "orderly". So, yeah, this could be good. Tom Hanks would be an obvious choice, but what about Kevin Costner? He is surprising good in relaxed, laid back roles ("The Upside of Anger", "Field of Dreams". Kevin Spacey could also nail it.
  • Someone with an actual brain
    NOT Tom Hanks. OR Will Smith. I do not want to see either of their big, dumb faces smiling up at an invisible rabbit. And Kevin Spacey stopped being interesting in the 90's. And Jason Schwartzman? Are you brain damaged? He would make that movie an even bigger turd than it's going to be. They'll probably have Harvey texting or drag racing or fighting decepticons or making out with Rachel McAdams or whatever the hell they do in movies nowadays. It doesn't matter who stars in it or who directs it, it's going to be a big old suckfest just like all the other remakes out there.
  • Lando
    I agree, he would have to get a great cast of great ACTORS not necessarily big names! Stewart carried that movie and it is one great movie, remaking it could fall flat based on casting alone..this is touchy...
  • Fed Up With Hollywood
    Another goddamned remake. I say we take off and nuke Hollywood from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
  • lumière
    James Stewart. that's all you need to know about remaking this, and why it's a bad (that's BAD) idea. but, my exposure to the story has always been the film (and yes, #21 / kitano0, the support in the 1950 film is not great), so i should find a copy of the play somewhere, and since this *is* already on the conveyor belt... i can see why people have suggested Hanks. it could work, he's one of the closest things Hollywood has these days to Stewart. he's virtually played most aspects of the character in Forrest Gump anyway. but for me, he's too obvious a choice. i get stuck on suggesting another, because.. it's Jimmy freakin' Stewart! and while Jonny Depp could play it, it doesn't matter how much i like him - he'd be as obvious as Hanks. Stewart was the classic Hollywood everyman. #11's right - we'll have a Mr Smith Goes... remake soon! what next? Scarlett Johansson starts remaking all of the Marilyn films? since she's been slapped in enough 'blonde bomshell' make-up to emulate her for the last few years, she should be a shoe-in. i'm off to watch The Philadephia Story again to make myself feel better. although Frank Sinatra already remade that, now i come to think of it.
  • rbrown205
    Hugh Laurie would do it magnificently. There are few people who could immerse themselves into a role that they are excited about as does Hugh. He is a master of wordless communication - I could see in his face the strange combination of sad wisdom and independent madness that portraying Dowd would require. In a recent online chat on the Gold Derby website, Hugh was asked: --------- You mentioned James Stewart as an inspiration - Spielberg is doing a remake of Harvey - would you be interested? HUGH LAURIE: Harvey, heck yes...




Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
Click Here for Thoughts

Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
Click Here for Thoughts


Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main profile on twitter:
For the news posts only, follow this acct:
Add our feed to your Feedly: follow us in feedly