Now here's a story that's been trying to get adapted into a feature film for some time now, and if Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) gets attached to the project as the director then there's a good chance it might actually get made. Verbinski is currently in negotiations with Fox to direct the film adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Steven Conrad wrote the script for the film. This is the same guy who wrote the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness. The script for Walter Mitty is obviously good enough for the studio to go out and get themselves a big time director like Verbinski.
The story was written by James Thurber in 1939, and it centers on a man who escapes his unexciting daily life by delving into elaborate daydreams in which he is suddenly a heroic character. Yeah, that kinda sounds like me.
If Verbinski ends up getting the directing gig will he bring Johnny Depp along with him? Depp has been in four films already directed by Verbinski, so it's not out of the question that he could possibly step in the main character's shoes.
This won't be the first time the book was adapted into a film, it was also turned into a film back in 1947. Here is a more detailed description of the story.
The short story deals with a vague and mild-mannered man who drives into Waterbury, Connecticut with his wife for their regular weekly shopping and his wife's visit to the beauty parlor. During this time he has five heroic daydream episodes. The first is as a pilot of a U.S. Navy flying boat in a storm, then he is a magnificent surgeon performing a one-of-a-kind surgery, then as a cool assassin testifying in a courtroom, and then as a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot volunteering for a daring, secret suicide mission to bomb an ammunition dump. As the story ends, Mitty imagines himself facing a firing squad, "inscrutable to the last." Each of the fantasies is inspired by some detail of Mitty's mundane surroundings:
- The powering up of the "Navy hydroplane" in the opening scene is followed by Mrs. Mitty's complaint that Mitty is "driving too fast", which suggests that his driving was what led to the daydream.
- Mitty's turn as a brilliant surgeon immediately follows his taking off and putting on his gloves (as a surgeon dons surgical gloves) and driving past a hospital.
- The courtroom drama cliché "Perhaps this will refresh your memory", which begins the third fantasy, follows Mitty's attempt to remember what (besides overshoes) his wife told him to buy; and also a newspaper vendor using news of a trial to sell his papers. (Thurber once used the same line to caption a cartoon in which a prosecutor shows the defendant a kangaroo.)
- Mitty's fourth daydream comes as he waits for his wife and picks up an old copy of Liberty, reading "Can Germany Conquer the World Through the Air?", and visions himself fighting Germany while volunteering to pilot a plane normally piloted by two people.
- The closing firing-squad scene comes when Mitty is standing against a wall, smoking.
What do you think about Verbinski possibly taking on the imaginative film project?