Film News

"Pirates" director may have a "Secret Life"

Gore Verbinski, director of the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", poses for pictures in Beverly Hills, California May 16, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - As the trailer for his new animated movie “Rango” sprang onto the web Tuesday, director Gore Verbinski entered negotiations with Fox to take the helm of the studio’s long-in-development adaptation of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Verbinski has strong momentum coming out of the three “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and “The Ring,” which together grossed $2.9 billion worldwide.

The “Mitty” project, which derives from James Thurber’s classic 1939 short story, has -- like Thurber’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” before it -- passed through the hands of many writers, actors and directors piqued by the inventive possibilities.

Thurber’s story, previously filmed in 1947, centers on a man who escapes his unexciting daily life by delving into elaborate daydreams in which he is suddenly a heroic character. That Johnny Depp has now starred for Verbinski four times (including the March release of “Rango”) raises the intriguing possibility that he could step into Mitty’s flighty shoes. Fox is likely salivating at the prospect.