Shirley MacLaine Circling Role In Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty
The legendary Shirley MacLaine hasnít been in a movie since Richard Linklaterís Bernie, which very few people managed to see thanks to a limited distribution model. So when her nameís attached to a high-profile comedy, even when itís The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we find reason to get excited.
Deadline reports that the Oscar winner is in talks to play Ben Stillerís mother in the adaptation thatís being set up at 20th Century Fox. Stiller also will direct the film, which is based on the James Thurber short story about a daydreaming man who goes off on adventures of the mind to escape the humdrum doldrums of his everyday life. Some of Mittyís escapades find him impersonating a Navy pilot, a brilliant surgeon, a war hero and the victim of a firing squad.
The bossy woman in Mittyís life, according to Thurberís story, is his wife. I wonder of that means screenwriter Steve Conrad is shifting focus to Mittyís mother, giving MacLaine a potentially juicy role? Stillerís movie will be a remake of the 1947 film with Danny Kaye in the lead, so this one might end up being an amalgamation of many different versions compacted into one.
No matter, itís exciting that MacLaineís in the running for a significant role in what could be a major comedy. Stiller likely will have to ramp up his casting, as the films is eyeballing a 2013 release date (likely in the summertime). I hope MacLaine gets a beefier role than a walk-on cameo, because she deserves so much more.
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