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Spielberg Drops Harvey
No invisible rabbit for Steven

04 December 2009  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Variety

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It's not a good year for remakes shepherded by Steven Spielberg: first his Oldboy project with Will Smith shuts down, and now he's walked away from a new version of Harvey.

Spielberg has been developing the fresh adaptation of Mary Chase's play, which was originally adapted into a beloved 1950 film starring James Stewart, for months now.

But he's had real trouble finding someone to take over the role. Tom Hanks was floated as the natural successor to the role of Elwood P Drood, but the actor didn't want to be involved despite his long friendship with the director.

With his first choice out of the picture, Spielberg turned to Robert Downey Jr., but despite suggesting changes to Jonathan Tropper's script, the Iron Man star didn't see eye to eye with Spielberg and also passed.

The biggest loser here might well be 20th Century Fox, which had been relishing the chance to work with the World's Most Famous Director™  and had even gone so far as to reserve soundstage space for an early 2010 shoot.

So what's next for Spielberg, who suddenly has more space on his schedule? While he's still overseeing post-production on Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn, he has loads of projects in development and every script in Hollywood at his feet, he's yet to make a choice.

So yes, that muffled thumping sound you hear is Liam Neeson banging on his office door and demanding that he finally commits to making the Neeson-centric Abraham Lincoln biopic he's been threatening for years…

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Your Comments

steve, how close are your scientists to teaching your script writers the secrets of the universe. Along with Inception, this mate HAS GOTTA BE DONE. A science fact film of the starry sky. Bollocks to Harvey (no one can do Jimmy better than Jimmy including Hanks. Facto.) More

Posted by vdjfrancis at 22:11 on 06 December 2009 | Report This Post

RE: something new

Posted by Edward Nygma at 12:32 on 06 December 2009 | Report This Post

something new
he should either go back to his roots and make a big popcorn movie or do Lincoln. Then again... IS Indy 5 the erason for this??? More

Posted by leroythemasochist at 11:36 on 06 December 2009 | Report This Post

The Message to take from all of this
Oldboy will not be ruined. Thank Zeus More

Posted by ieatlions at 09:00 on 06 December 2009 | Report This Post

I often get the impression that Spielberg likes to piss about. Why doesn't he just get on and make that damn Lincoln film. More

Posted by Alistair at 21:42 on 05 December 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Lincoln!!!
I like the original Harvey, it's a fun, random little film with a terrific James Stewart. I usually see it at Christmas. Maybe Steven Spielberg found out there already is a Harvey remake...and it's rubbish lol Isnt that right, Harvey? More

Posted by Edward Nygma at 21:32 on 05 December 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Lincoln!!!
Ahhhh Stevie, I knew you wouln't let me down!!sp;Harvey is an odd film but that's not the point. Remakes rehashes are driving me bonkers!   ....Before anyone starts his WOTW wasn't bad, minus Dakota wailing like a banshee and a sickening (ting scene it was fine More

Posted by Sphinx at 21:00 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Yes, please bring on Lincoln!!! I want to see that so bad!!! More

Posted by aRTCy at 16:08 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Sounds like we might be getting a 5th Indiana Jones film then...Clear plate for the distant future and Mr. Ford isn't getting any younger right? More

Posted by sneakertinker at 15:51 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Hang on a minute, a brief mention of Oldboy being off his schedule, where did that come? Unless I misses the report and now cant find it on your site, this is the first time you are reporting it. I would much sooner know why Oldboy fell apart rather than Harvey More

Posted by rissole at 13:49 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

More Science Fiction Please!
I'd like a few more sci-fi movies from Mr Spielberg. Maybe something literary and spectacular and possibly something smaller too, starring unknowns. I love ideas driven science fiction that doesn't rely on effects. Just watch John Frankenheimer's 'Seconds', possibly one of the best sci-fi movies of all-time, to see what I mean. More

Posted by batfunk at 12:51 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Caged Rabbit
Nicolas Cage should be considered--he has the maturity and quirky likability that would give his characterization credence. More

Posted by velvet227 at 11:48 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

pop goes the knee...
Hear how Spielberg was holidaying in Ireland a couple of weeks back and he dislocated his knee so one of the locals popped it back in for him. Ha. True story. More

Posted by boriordan at 11:23 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

I'm just glad Oldboy will not be ruined by Will Smith. More

Posted by Leeorami 2.0 at 10:23 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Why are people so keen for him to do Lincoln? More

Posted by Biggus at 10:20 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

"There's no dramatic tension and it's therefore boring"
Sigh... young people today. Glad Spielberg has dropped the idea of Harvey, perhaps he can finally move on Lincoln? More

Posted by Timon at 09:27 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Just make Lincoln !!!!
Instead of these big shot directrors having lots of projects at the same time why don't they just concentrate on one film at a time. More

Posted by benj 01 at 09:19 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

I have to say I'm quite relieved about this - Spielberg knows his stuff, obviously, and Hanks and Downey Jr are both good actors (prefer Downey Jr to Hanks myself, but there you go...), but James Stewart's shoes are very difficult ones to fill; I'm guessing the two actors woke up in a blind panic in the middle of the night, agonising over wanting to work with Spielberg on the one hand and attempting to take on Elwood P Dowd on the other. Let's just hope that Fox don't decide they've invested too More

Posted by dctuck at 08:37 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Spielberg da man!
There are many many many reasons why an actor may want to pass up a project. It could be anything not necesarily the script, or the director. Sometimes its quite simply whether the actor feels that the part is for them and they may want to work with Spielberg on the right project. Tom Hanks and Rob Downey Jr are not blindly ambitious so they can make good choices. It doesn't reflect on Spielberg at all. Personally I find that Speilberg is still a master at his craft, even if people now prefer hi More

Posted by Funk_Knight at 08:32 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Just get going on Lincoln already! It seems to be the only project he's consistently been saying he's going to make. And the previous poster's comment is bullshit. Perhaps Hanks and Downey Jr simply don't like the script? Spielberg's reputation has nothing to with it, considering he's y'know, the biggest director in Hollywood. More

Posted by darthmax1 at 07:36 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

Jumping The Rabbit
I like James Stewart, but "Harvey" is one of his films that never holds my attention. There's no dramatic tension and it's therefore boring. It says a lot that actors like Hanks and Downey Jr. don't want to work with Spielberg. There was a time they would have starred in "Yellow Pages: The Movie" for free just to work with him. My, how the bearded one's stock has fallen. Must have been the crap "Crystal Skull" that did it. More

Posted by BenTramer at 06:43 on 04 December 2009 | Report This Post

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