Ben Stiller to Direct and Star in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Ben Stiller, who is best known for his acting in comedies like Meet the Parents, has actually directed four successful films: Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder.  All of those films starred Stiller as well, and it looks like Stiller is planning to pull double duty again, according to Twitch Film.  The film in question, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is an adaptation of the 1939 James Thurber short story and a remake of the 1947 film starring Danny Kaye.

A new version of Walter Mitty has been floating around Hollywood since the 1990s, when Jim Carey was attached to the part. Since then Owen Wilson, Mike Myers, and Sacha Baron Cohen have all been mentioned as possible stars, with directors Ron Howard, Chuck Russell, Steven Spielberg, Mark Waters, and Gore Verbinski were all involved at some point during the long development of the project.  Stiller was announced as the star in April, so agreeing to direct finally puts this film one step closer to actually being produced.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about the titular humdrum man who lives a much more exciting existence in his mind (imagining himself in roles like a mighty soldier or a world-class surgeon) while he shops with his wife.  In his imagination Mitty is far more virtuous individual than his feeble real-life counterpart, so Stiller will have the opportunity to play two totally different facets of the same character.
Stiller, as usual, has a full slate of films coming up.  He can next be seen in the dark comedy Tower Heist and reprising his role as Alex the lion in Madagascar 3.  He also has two other films in development: another outing with director Noah Baumbach titled While We’re Young and a comedic team-up with buddy Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch.  Of course, the always-rumored Zoolander 2 is still on the table.

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