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When “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” first made its way into my life in elementary school, the literature textbook we were using had artwork that depicted Mitty as a nervous man with glasses, kind of like a Woody Allen from anywhere other than New York. And by the time I saw the Danny Kaye version, the image embedded into my brain could not be detached. And so when Ben Stiller was set to take on the role, it caused both excitement, given Stiller’s gifts with physical comedy, and trepidation, given Stiller’s gifts of being in severely unfunny movies occasionally. But I thought it might at least vaguely alter my perception of Mitty as a character.
But as we can see from the first official photo from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times, Stiller isn’t stepping outside his physical appearance comfort zone for this one. He’s standing out in the middle of a barren nowhere by the looks of it, wearing beat up jeans and holding a bag and skateboard. I’m not sure if the skateboard and rocks are supposed to imply extreme sports in a contrasting setting, but I certainly hope not. I guess it’s a secret.
Bland picture or not, Walter Mitty is looking to be one of 2013’s more interesting year-ending comedies. Stiller stars as a LIFE Magazine proofreader whose real-world nebbishness is flipped around in his mental fantasy life, which involves him searching for a missing image taken by a photographer played by Sean Penn. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, and Kathryn Hahn. So even if it isn’t the funniest, it’s got some of the funniest people in it.
Viewers can unwrap Mitty’s secret when the film releases on Christmas Day 2013.