For a remake of a classic 1940s musical, based on a beloved James Thurber short story, starring one of the most acclaimed comedy actors of our time, Ben Stiller’s upcoming adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has received surprisingly little attention as its Christmas Day release date grows steadily closer.
However, new images from the film’s Iceland set, courtesy of Empire, may change that. Though they focus entirely on Stiller, the images do offer some tantalizing clues about the film’s fantasy sequences.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty centers around a downtrodden Life magazine photographer (Stiller) who escapes his mundane life through daydreams in which he portrays adventurous characters like action heroes and mountaineers. The movie boasts one of the year’s best supporting casts, including Kristen Wiig as Mitty’s love interest and Shirley MacLaine as his controlling mother. Other big names attached to the film include Sean Penn, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, and Patton Oswalt.
“This version is more different than similar to the original,” Stiller told Empire. “We were aiming for something indefinable, a movie that left you with a feeling at the end.” Stiller, who is also directing, has high hopes for the film, for which Fox will mount a considerable Oscar campaign. “It’s about the aspirations and dreams everyone has,” said Stiller. It “speaks to that yearning like nothing I’ve ever read. It’s entertaining, funny and real.”
Though the 1947 Danny Kaye film was a musical, Stiller’s version will apparently take the story of the titular daydreamer in a different direction, adding modern touches while employing some truly jaw-dropping special effects. Empire had nothing but praise for footage screened from the movie, comparing it to such films as Life of Pi, Forrest Gump, The Apartment, and It’s A Wonderful Life.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25. Check out the released images below, and let us know what you think. Can Stiller break out of the comedy mold with a movie as ambitious as this, or is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty destined to fall short of expectations?