Spielberg Snatches Harvey

Best friends: Elwood & Harvey
Best friends: Elwood & Harvey

The relentless Hollywood remake machine strikes again.

The next classic film to get the rehash treatment in what has become a never-ending slew of rehash treatments? 1950’s Oscar winning light comedy Harvey.

That’s right, the much-loved precious Pooka tale is being retold with Steven Spielberg at the helm.

According to this morning’s Variety, shooting is going to start early next year and the role of Jimmy Stewart’s Elwood P. Down is expected to be offered to the likes of Tom Hanks and Will Smith.

Now, I absolutely adore Tom Hanks and definitely think that a family-friendly film might be good for his career at the moment, but … the obvious questions that begs to be answered is …

is this really necessary?

Sure, the original film was an adaptation of a Pulitzer prize winning play, and perhaps I am being a bit too protective. But … Harvey is such a part of postwar American idealism, I honestly do wonder if the story as a vehicle can even work anymore? The wide-eyed innocence that is so vital to Elwood P Dowd’s character simply doesn’t exist these days and I wonder if even someone as talented as Mr. Hanks would be able to pull it off in a manner that could make the audience believe in Harvey the way we do with Stewart.

And who could possibly follow Josephine Hull?


We’re going to keep the development of this project tightly under our radar.

Posted by

Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

3 thoughts on “Spielberg Snatches Harvey

  1. well i agree that Tom Hanks could be right for the role, but seriously, we do not need more and more rehashing of old Hollywood greats. I watched the remake of The Women just to see what they did with it. It was stupidly modernized and didn’t have any of the wit and charm of the superb original.

  2. Oh Inky, I agree, the remake of the Women was a COMPLETE waste of time and money.

    Why can’t people just leave well enough alone? You just CAN’T improve on films like The Women and Harvey so why bother??

  3. I cannot believe they plan to remake Harvey! This makes me think of your earlier post on re-marketing the original classic films. I think Harvey would be a great candidate for that. Tom Hanks is great and a good choice for the project, but I still would rather not see him remake this film.

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