Spielberg to Remake ‘Harvey’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 4:22 pm,

james stewart harvey Spielberg to Remake Harvey

Steven Spielberg’s next directorial effort will be an adaptation of Mary Chase’s award-winning play Harvey for Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox.

Harvey was originally made into an immensely popular (and classic) film starring Hollywood legend James Stewart in 1950. The play (and original film) follows Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) and his friendship with a six-foot invisible rabbit.

Remakes are one thing. Remakes of classics are pretty much cinematic sacrilege and Harvey is probably one of James Stewart’s finest films (of which there are many), so it seems like a bizarre choice for Spielberg to remake such a whimsical film at this point of his career.

Spielberg supporters will no doubt say that this film will be an adaptation of Chase’s play, and not a remake of Stewart’s film, but I find it difficult to separate the concept from the classic.

It’s not the first time that Spielberg has gone down the remake route. In 1989 he directed Always with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter, a film which was a remake of the 1943 film, A Guy Named Joe. While the Spielberg film is undoubtedly excellent,  A Guy Named Joe wasn’t as well known as Harvey is.

No cast has been set for the new film but I can only imagine that Tom Hanks will be top of Spielberg’s wish list. Hanks has often been compared to Stewart and their careers have also taken a similar trajectory – Stewart was well known for light comedies before he did his war service and when he returned to Hollywood he made a lot of dark and serious dramas, much like Hanks following his Philadelphia Oscar win.

Personally, I’d like Spielberg to try something different.

Maybe he could return to his old buddy Dreyfuss to star as Dowd, or cast Kevin Costner – another actor with a style similar to Stewart. Costner and Spielberg previously worked together on a Spielberg-directed episode of Amazing Stories. I feel that hiring Hanks would be lazy and safe casting and (as I said) I’d like this film to offer something different.

Harvey starts shooting in January 2010 and I’d imagine it’ll open before Christmas of that year so that it would be an awards contender. Spielberg’s next release will be a motion capture Tintin film entitled The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn starring Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig.

More news on Harvey when we have it.

So a Harvey remake – a good idea or a bad one?

Source: Variety

TAGS: Harvey
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  1. Kevin Costner? No thanks. I don’t mind “safe casting” as long as it’s right casting, and Hanks FEELS like Elwood Dowd, ya dig?

  2. What ever happened to the Lincoln biopic Spielberg was set to do?

  3. Can’t see anyone doing Dowd like Stewart did. I love that movie, don’t see any need to redo it.

    Hanks made good light hearted movies early on and really enjoyed him in those, but not so much recently (Big vs the Terminal for instance).
    Certainly couldn’t see him matching Stewart.

  4. Harvey is one of my favorite classic films and James Stewart one of my favorite actors so I am naturally against this remake but if it were HAVE to be done then it needs to be done with the right actor in the lead. I summit to those whom it may concern, Ewan McGregger. In comparative to other the other actors thrown out there Ewan has the best chance of matching the charming innocent style of Edward Dowd. I believe that Ewan would be a perfect match and having Ewan stated that his favorite movie was Harvey and his favorite actor James Stewart you can be sure he would put his best performance to do justice to both of them.

  5. The Problem With Remaking “Harvey”:
    ASSUMING this to be set in contemporary times, assume that poor Elwood P. Dowd will be either:

    1. Described as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (because of his service in Iraq)
    2. A practitioner of chemical recreational substances currently banned by law
    3. Accused of being a Wiccan bent upon stealing the souls of Good Christian Children Everywhere (As idiots without a clue of what Wicca is all about are so fond of proclaiming)
    4. A delusional Internet addict that cannot separate Real World from Fiction World.

    And of course, in true paparazzi/Enquirer/Entertainment Tonight fashion, he will get the same gentle, considerate, non-invasive coverage in the media that O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and The OctoMom have been privileged to enjoy…eventually leading to a reality show on E!

  6. How bout something original Spielberg?
    I’ll never see this…

  7. Never seen it, I’m sure my parents have, I’ll ask them how good it was, but I mean come on it’s Steven Speilberg, he isn’t Legendary for his Acting or his looks, he’s a Legend cause of the movies he has Directed. I’ll go watch it, why not.


  9. Strangely, I never really liked “Harvey”, although I think Jimmy Stewart is usually great in just about anything. I didn’t HATE it, it just didn’t do anything for me.

    Also strangely, I liked “Always” very much, and indeed preferred it to “A Guy Named Joe” with the awesome Spencer Tracy.

    So, I guess I’d be up for another crack at “Harvey” – I won’t be lining up on opening day or anything, but I’d give it a shot.

  10. I have been waiting for a remake of this movie for years I think Tom Hanks would be perfect for this one

  11. @ hamlet3k

    Costner did whimsical comedy/drama to perfection in Field of Dreams – he’d be great in the role…if they have to make the film.

  12. I alwAys wondered why modern Hollywood keeps remaking all these classics… Is there no original ideas in Hollywood anymore? But Harvey is and will always be one of my favorite movies.. I don’t like to see that they are remaking it.. Why remake a movie that is already a f
    great piece of cinema? I don’t get it.. It certainly will be a Great challenge and if anyone is up for that it would be steve.. All we can do is wait to see how it’s turns out.. Just hope it’s not going to destroy harvey the pooka’s reputation….

  13. i LOVED Harvey!!!It was a simple and sweet movie made in a much simpler time. Why do they keep trying to remake movies that were ONLY good due to the actor or the time it was made. All of the actors named are excellent, however i don’t even think Tom Hanks can pull this one off. Today’s audience wont be impressed by an invisible rabbit that you never hear or see, nor will they be impressed by a simple minded good hearted lead man. For him to pull this off he would have to completly bastardize the original concept. PLEASE Steven, don’t do it.

  14. You can’t stop the Rabbit because he is Father Time sure he wants to show himself one more time! Alice In Wonderland is also being remaked next year! I also own White Pond Drive Thru in Akron OH my parrents have lived by Black Pond since 1959. This movii really should be being made about me the Real Elwood!

  15. My Grandmothers last name is White.
    Jessie White went to school A mile down the street from where I Live and own the Drive Thru. I have nothing but pretty girls working for me. Remember the Doctor wanted to go to Akron where I Live for two weeks and be with a pretty women!

  16. He also wanted to have a cold beer! I sell the coldest beer in Akron!

  17. How about Luke Wilson? Costner & Hanks are a bit um…too old, and Wilson has that “aw, shucks” way about him. But HOPEfully, it won’t get made. Ugh, Travolta wanted to play Elwood, ew!