Long in the works, with folks like Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Gore Verbinski in the director’s chair, and stars like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson all mooted to star at various points, when it was announced last summer that Ben Stiller would be taking the lead and directing, we actually didn’t think “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” would be moving this quickly. But not only is a spring shoot in the works, casting is starting.
Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine (taking Best Actress for “Terms Of Endearment” after her sixth nomination) will come on board to play Stiller’s Mom in the movie. The remake of the 1947 film starring Danny Kaye was penned by Steve Conrad (”The Weather Man,” “The Pursuit Of Happyness”) and follows a mild-mannered man who works at a book publishing company who is walked over by nearly everyone in his life, but finds his escape through his daydreams where he can, through imagination, live any kind of life he chooses — but unfortunately, those idle thoughts seem to cause him even more strife when he’s back in reality. Things take a twist when the literal girl of his dreams appears in real life and, of course, along the way, he finds the stones to stand up to those that bully him.
Fox is backing the production, which we presume means it’s being squared as a big four-quadrant, family movie of some kind. We’re not big fans of Blockbuster Ben movies, generally speaking, and we really hope this doesn’t turn out to be just be another variant of “Night Of The Museum” (though, we won’t be surprised if it is). Production starts in April, so look for this in 2013. [Deadline]