After spending the last half of the year developing a remake to the classic film Harvey, Steven Spielberg has dropped out of the project. I gotta say I'm pretty happy about this, Harvey is one of those films that shouldn't have to be remade in the first place. They could spend the time and money on something original.
The film is an adaptation of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning play about a man who befriends a six and a half foot tall invisible rabbit.
Spielberg committed last August and apparently one of the biggest challenges has been trying to set a star to play Elwood P. Dowd, the character played by James Stewart in the 1950 film. It's no surprise that Spielberg's first choice to play the character was Tom Hanks. But because Tom Hanks has respect for the original film and Stewart's performance he turned the role down. Seriously! He wanted no part of taking over a role played by the iconic star. They then spent a few months trying to get Robert Downey Jr. cast but he wouldn't commit to it because he and Spielberg had creative differences on what should be done with the script. Finally Spielberg called it all off.
The movie was supposed to start shooting on the 20th Century Fox lot in early 2010. Fox is pretty disappointed that Spielberg dropped out. Fox 2000 is going to continue trying to get the movie made and maybe somewhere down the road they will re-approach Spielberg and Downey.
No one is sure what Spielberg will direct next. I hope to hell he finally uses this opportunity to develop his Abraham Lincoln biopic.
Ya gotta love Tom Hanks for turning down the role out of respect for the original film.