Earlier this week we learned that Steven Spielberg’s next directing gig would be Harvey, an adaptation of the Mary Chase Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a man who befriends a 6½-foot-tall invisible rabbit. As expected, speculation began as to who Spielberg would cast in the lead role and we heard names such as Tom Hanks and Will Smith, however according to Variety Hanks isn’t interested.
Tom Hanks won’t be the star of `Harvey,’ Steven Spielberg’s contemporary adaptation of the Mary Chase play.
It was widely speculated that Hanks would be Spielberg’s top choice to play Elwood P. Dowd, perhaps because the actor has a likeability factor comparable to Jimmy Stewart, who played the eccentric with the invisible giant rabbit friend in the 1950 film.
While it appears there was a conversation, Hanks and Spielberg won’t pursue it because Hanks is so identified with Stewart. The last thing he would want to do is star in a project so closely identified with the actor. Hanks didn’t even read the Jonathan Tropper script.
Insiders on the Fox-DreamWorks project said that despite press coverage that has fixated on why Spielberg would remake a film classic, the truth is, the Jonathan Tropper-scripted film that was developed by Fox 2000 is a contemporary story that is much closer in tone to the play than it is to that film.
Spielberg and Will Smith have been wanting to make a movie together for a while and have been in talks to remake Oldboy, however that won’t be happening for a while so I guess Spielberg could cast him in Harvey. Anyone have an actor in mind who they’d like to see take the lead?