Mike Myers is Daydreaming in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a comedic short story written by James Thurber in 1941 that has garnered more Hollywood print over the years to surpass the story's original length many times over. Since the original 1947 film starring Danny Kaye, various directors and studios have entertained completing a remake. Now, MTV is reporting that Mike Myers is assuming a central role in creating a new version of Thurber's most famous short story with Mark Waters (Freaking Friday, Mean Girls) attached as director. Myers is not only assuming the lead, but he's also involved in re-scripting the story.
Waters recently spoke with MTV and confirmed that Myers is taking over the Walter Mitty remake.
"Mike Myers is taking it over completely, throwing out the screenplay. He's starting over with a new screenplay that he's going to write," Waters said. "I may end up circling back to it because Mike and I have developed things together. If his screenplay ends up really great I might end up jumping back into it with him."
Waters has actually has been involved in the potential remake for a few years now. Back in 2005, production started on the project with Owen Wilson assuming the lead role as Mitty and a rumored Scarlett Johansson as his wife. Ironically, much like the interrupting daydreaming of Mitty in the Thurber's piece, Hurricane Katrina cropped up and put an end to Waters' progress. By the time the, err… waters, had retreated, the film had to be shelved.
Thurber's piece originally appeared in the New Yorker back in 1939 (you can read it entirely here). The story is a classic escapist one in which an ordinary Mitty funnily indulges in fantastic daydreams brought about during a regular trip to town with his wife. One of the dreams details Mitty vividly imagining being a wonderful surgeon - an episode created as he plainly puts on his driving gloves.
IMDb describes the plot in the 1947 film, which adds a bit more to the story, a bit differently: "Walter Mitty, a daydreaming comic book writer with an overprotective mother, likes to imagine himself as a hero experiencing great adventures. His dream becomes true when he accidently meets a mysterious woman who hands him a little black book. According to her it contains the locations of the Dutch crown jewels hidden since World War II. Soon Mitty finds himself in the middle of a confusing conspiracy and has to admit that being a hero in real life isn't that easy."
Myers as Mitty is a great prospect. The actor has certainly proven his ability to assume varying outlandish roles, all with equal deftness and dedication. Throughout Thurber's short story, there are roughly five distinct episodes in which Mitty is transported into another life. This will certainly give Myers a nice challenge, if not for the story's complexity, but for the fact that this remake is quite the long time coming.
Over the years, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has moved from Paramount to 20th Century Fox and flirted with such directors as Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, and such as leads as Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy. Reportedly, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. - who was originally responsible for moving the script to Fox - will produce, along with John Goldwyn. Jay Kogen, who has worked on "The Simpsons" and "Frasier" is also said to be involved in reworking the script with Myers.
It is great to see some interest in this story to be developed again. I could never picture Myers carrying the story though, as my interest in the story came through my final years of English studies in school. I guess the day dreams and delusions that Mitty has would be realized by someone who could take it to a darker place somewhere closer to the mind tricks and delusions found in Fight Club. I am most afraid that Myers will ruin it by making it too light harted with jokes that are not funny like 90% of the comedic work he has done this decade. Oh and if Myers is reading this, PLEASE avoid the song and dance from 1947.
Triety on Feb 20, 2008
Mindy on Feb 21, 2008
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