Perhaps scarred by the coldly dismissive preemptive grumbling of our own Noel Murray back in August, Steven Spielberg has elected to back out of his planned remake of Harvey, adding to an ever-growing pile of possible directing projects he’s announced and then abandoned in the past year. No specific reason was given for Spielberg up and deciding to take his prestige-ball and go home, but many are speculating that much of it has to do with the failure to convince Tom Hanks to come on board and finally open that big-ass can of “he’s no Jimmy Stewart” backlash he’s been toying with for most of his career. When Robert Downey Jr. also refused the thankless task of stepping into Stewart’s iconic role—though not before suggesting rewrites to the script, which, because it’s Friday, we’ll now recklessly speculate involved giving Elwood P. Dowd a “recovering DMT addict” back story—Spielberg apparently called it quits before the whole thing descended into the yawning crevasse of Jim Carrey territory.
Fox 2000 (obviously fans of clinging to the past) says it will continue to pursue Harvey anyway, so suck it, though it also says it might even approach Spielberg and Downey again, possibly just for laughs. Spielberg, meanwhile, is racking up a Robert Rodriguez-like stack of stuff he says he’s gonna do, like his long-promised Lincoln biopic and that Oldboy revamp no one is particularly excited about, and with six months apparently now wasted on bringing Harvey to life, there’s no telling which of these languishing scripts he’ll choose to do next. Of course, it’s also possible that all of this is just misdirection to steal attention away from Indiana Jones And The Awkward Passing Of The Baton To Shia LaBouef, in which case Spielberg is on some serious David Copperfield shit right now.