Next stop for the world's greatest director: another remake. Steven Spielberg may or may not be the world's "greatest" director, but he is arguably the most influential filmmaker of his generation, so when he commits to make a movie, attention must be paid. Spielberg's next film will not be Matt Helm or any of the other ones that Elisabeth listed for us just a couple of days ago. No it will be ... Harvey, according to Variety. Yes, the one about the invisible rabbit.
The article describes the project as an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1944 play by Mary Chase, but we all know the story better from the 1950 film starring James Stewart and his constant companion, a very tall rabbit named Harvey that no one else can see. Casting and pre-production will begin immediately, and filming is expected to begin in early 2010. Harvey will be a co-production between 20th Century and Dreamworks, with 50% financing provided by Reliance, the new financial backer of Dreamworks. With that kind of schedule, it sounds like the film may be aiming for theaters in Christmas 2010, though no release date has been announced.
The original film was charming almost despite itself, in large measure due to James Stewart's amiable personality and a heartwarming message well-suited for the time. Novelist Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You) has written the new adaptation. My concern for the project is Spielberg's past tendency to drip too much sentiment on certain sequences (i.e. the ending of War of the Worlds), to the detriment of the material. The other concern: who is this generation's James Stewart? What do you think of the project, and who do you think could play the part?