Super-Hollywood master Steven Spielberg has been hopping around with many ideas for a prospective next movie, one of them being Lincoln, which is to have Liam Neeson star as the famous American president. Another idea in the oven is his version of the graphic novel Oldboy, which has already been made into a film by Park Chan-Wook. But Spielberg has chosen something no one really saw coming for his next project. Starting early next year, he will begin filming on Harvey, a remake of the famous Pulitzer-Prize winning play and film that originally starred Jimmy Stewart. (For those who haven't seen either, the story is about a man named Elwood P. Dowd who has an unusual relationship with Harvey, a 6 1/2-foot-tall rabbit that only he can see).
Apparently, Spielberg had been antsy to get behind the camera (his latest project, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, is currently in post-production.) He then found a script through 20th Century Fox chairman Tom Rothman, who worked with Spielberg on Minority Report. Then, Spielberg and his partner at DreamWorks, Stacey Snider, soon decided that "while the source material is 65 years old, its themes are timely, uplifting and relatable."
For those aware of Spielberg's business with DreamWorks, this will be the first movie under the new "incarnation" of the banner. DreamWorks recently went from Universal to Paramount, "and then negotiated an exit with Universal before it chose Disney." That being said, DreamWorks will finance 50% of Harvey's production through its funding partnership with Reliance, and will distribute the film worldwide through Disney.
Now that he has the project, Spielberg has reportedly been looking at "a handful of top stars," which includes names like Tom Cruise and Will Smith, to play the lead character. (Fun fact: at one time, when the rights belonged to Dimension and MGM, John Travolta was in talks to play Dowd). Both of these names are logical, and either or would probably make for a good slightly looney lead. No connection to his off-screen antics, I think that Cruise would be a more interesting watch in this role of the two.
However, I really think Steve Carell would be better for this role than both of them. Of course he doesn't have the billboard magnetism of Cruise or Smith, but he has proven chops in both sweet (Dan In Real Life) and goofy moments (Get Smart). I think he could very well mix his dramatic skills and comedic potential to make an original yet modern version of a character Jimmy Stewart once made his own many years ago.
What do you think? Does this particular Hollywood remake excite you, make you curious, or just make you hate Hollywood more? Who do you imagine would be a good Elwood P. Dowd? How many of you have actually seen this movie, anyway?