Spielberg Off The “Harvey” Remake

After six months of development, Steven Spielberg has withdrawn from his proposed remake of “Harvey”, his first directing vehicle for the reconstituted DreamWorks reports Variety.

Spielberg first committed to the project, an adaptation of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a man who befriends a six and a half foot tall invisible rabbit, back in August.

Fox & Dreamworks came to a co-financing deal and soundstages were put aside on the Fox lot for the project which was headed for an early 2010 start.

The difficulty apparently came with finding a star – Tom Hanks was the first choice but the actor turned down the project. Robert Downey Jr. was pursued for several months but he and Spielberg never found themselves creatively in sync on the script.

Thus the helmer has now called off his whole involvement in the project, leaving Fox 2000 to continue its own development on the film for someone else.

Though his producing schedule is as busy as ever, the director is apparently keen to get back in the big chair and helm his first film for his new partners at Reliance. Yet what that next project could be is uncertain. The director has already shot and edited the first of the “Tintin” movies he had planned with Peter Jackson, leaving his further involvement in that and the first of the sequels more along the lines of his other regular producing jobs.

He and Peter Jackson may still shoot the third of the “Tintin” films together sometime in 2010/2011, but the first film demonstrated that the actual production/shooting time is minimal which makes it a very convenient ‘between projects’ side job for Spielberg.

So what next? Fanboys would love Jonathan Nolan’s sci-fi epic “Interstellar” to be it, but the property was optioned nearly three years ago and has seen no movement since aside from being officially put ‘on hold’ a few months ago according to the IMDb.

The “Oldboy” remake is dead, and a fifth “Indiana Jones” is years off if it’s agreed to at all. The reigns of the Aaron Sorkin-scripted “Chicago 7” feature have essentially been handed over elsewhere and the project isn’t looking likely to get going anytime soon.

A script for the film adaptation of kiddie scavenger mystery “The 39 Clues” was delivered a year ago and hasn’t progressed any further, while a film version of John Wyndham’s “Chocky” remains only in the very early development stage.

That leaves the long gestating Abraham Lincoln biopic which Tony Kushner is presently revising the script for, and an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s just released posthumously published adventure novel “Pirate Latitudes” which is currently being scripted. Another possibility will be something new altogether that Spielberg may warm to in coming weeks.