A few days ago, my friend and I went to the cinemas to check out James Mangold’s The Wolverine. Now I’d love to go on at length about how I enjoyed 90% of the movie and how great the tone and action was, but I peeped something else before the start of film that I have to bring to y’all’s attention. I had the pleasure of watching the trailer for Ben Stiller’s newest film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
By now, you all know who Ben Stiller is. Most of you probably remember him from his career-defining role as Fast Eddie Feltcher on that one episode of "Miami Vice" back in 1987. Well, he’s actually gone on to have quite the career since then, not only as an actor but as a director as well. Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, and Reality Bites are just a few of the fine films that he, as a director, has brought to the world. Well, actually, that’s almost all of them, but his career in Hollywood has been impressive nonetheless. Now let's talk about the story.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty began its life on this planet as a short story written by the late and great James Thurber back in 1939. It’s story about a mild-mannered man who let pretty much everyone and everything in his life to push him around. His only solace was an incredibly overactive imagination that allowed him to be the tough, daring, and adventurous person that he could never actually be in real life. It was a simple and sweet story of personality disassociatve disorder that Hollywood decided to adapt 8 years later. The film starred Danny Kaye and it was quite a departure from the source material, as it had Walter Mitty actually involved in a real-life adventure filled with murderers and spies. It was a fantastic film and one of my all time favorite classic comedies. Take a look at the trailer below.
A modern adaptation of this story had been cycling through the rumor mill for quite a few years, with the likes of Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg showing interest in directing it. It finally landed in the hands of Ben Stiller and, just by looking at the trailer, it seems like Stiller was the right man for the job. The movie seems more like a re-imagining of the source material than an outright remake of the Danny Kaye version. The only thing they seemed to have kept from the 1947 film was the idea of Mitty working for a magazine. Aside from that, it looks like the the movie will be an incredibly fun and adventurous ride with a slightly more serious tone than it’s predecessor. I for one am relieved that the film has seemingly found it’s own identity, as opposed to it attempting to retell the story seen in the 1947 version. Well, without further ado, feast your eyes on the trailer below. For my money, Christmas can’t come soon enough.
Greg McIver can be found on Twitter @GregPMcIver. Check out his other reviews and articles at www.nerdtopiacast.com, and be sure to tune in to his weekly podcast Filmtopiacast 3000 which is currently available on YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher.