Steven Spielberg has confirmed that he will only be serving as a producer on Matt Helm. His next film as director will be Harvey, according to Variety.
The story of the middle-aged eccentric whose best friend is an invisible six-foot rabbit named Harvey has, of course, been filmed before, as the 1950 classic starring James Stewart. That film was also based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Mary Chase, and the official line on the new version seems to be that it’s a fresh adaptation rather than a remake.
This will be the first Dreamworks production following its divorce from Paramount, and has been set up with Fox. Spielberg has several irons currently in the fire, with Helm, Lincoln and The 39 Clues all heating up following his work on Tintin. But Fox’s chairman Tom Rothman was able to snare the director with a ready-to-go script by novelist Jonathan Tropper.
The film is expected to start shooting early in 2010, and Variety namedrops Tom Hanks and Will Smith as possible contenders for the lead (well, if you’re recasting a Jimmy Stewart role and Hanks’ name doesn’t come up, you’re doing something wrong). Let me know your thoughts: does anyone else hop to mind as a good choice?