Steven Spielberg announces next film directing project: Harvey

Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct a feature film remake of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey, according to Variety. Spielberg has been developing a film biography of Abraham Lincoln by playwright Tony Kushner (starring Liam Neeson), but that project isn’t ready yet, so the Oscar-winning director has chosen to tackle Harvey first, from a screenplay by novelist Jonathan Tropper.

The story of Elwood P. Dowd, a mild-mannered man whose best friend is an invisible, six-foot-tall rabbit,Harvey debuted on Broadway in 1944 and earned Chase the 1945 Pulitzer Prize. Frank Fay played Dowd, and Josephine Hull co-starred as his sister, Veta, who tries to have her brother committed to a sanitarium. Chase adapted her play for a 1950 feature film that starred Jimmy Stewart as Dowd and earned Hull a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for reprising her Broadway performance.

Variety reports that casting for Harvey will begin immediately, with production to begin early in 2010. The film will be a co-production of DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox.

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