Stiller in, Myers out of ‘Secret’
Mike Myers spent three years reworking the script of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in a loose agreement with 20th Century Fox he would also play the title character.
The big pity is that Myers’ script was tossed and it was recently announced that comedian Ben Stiller had been officially given the lead. Stiller is also directing the film.
As we speak, Stiller is in full-on pre-production mode, scouting for locations and casting co-stars.
I wrote last year that one Fox producer who had seen Myers’ script said it was expected to be a “Myers masterpiece.”
No one is publicly revealing why Ben Stiller has suddenly been given the gig.
But it’s not difficult to see that Stiller, 45, is the bigger Hollywood powerhouse these days with his recent rash of successful box-office comedies such as The Fockers movies.
In Hollywood, the common expression is: “You’re as good as your last movie.” And the last script the 48-year-old Myers wrote (which he also starred in) was the widely panned The Love Guru (2008).
Myers had reportedly been pouring his heart into writing a fresh script and creating characters he’d play for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a short story by James Thurber about a henpecked husband who daydreams himself into tales of heroism such as a judge overseeing a mob trial or a Second World War fighter ace saving the day. Walter Mitty was made into a 1947 film starring Danny Kaye.
When the Scarborough, Ont.-born Myers opted to take it over, he refused to read any past scripts and wrote it the way he’d play it.
If you’ve ever read the short story, you can instantly see that the quick-changing, funny characters that only Myers knows how to create and play would have been the best choice for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Ah, so it goes.
And no matter for Myers, who last month just became the proud papa of his first child, Spike.
In between earning zillions for playing the voice of Shrek, Myers has finished his Austin Powers 4 script and will begin pre-production soon.
The new script reportedly tells the story from the viewpoint of Dr. Evil — whom Myers has called his all-time “favourite creation” — the chief villain of the Austin Powers franchise.
Myers is also scheduled to shoot a film next summer about Keith Moon, the hard-living British drummer for The Who. Myers is to play Moon.
While the still-untitled Keith Moon Project has a working script and is being co-produced by none other than The Who’s lead singer, Roger Daltry, it’s unclear if the project has landed a director yet.