Actor was already set to star in Fox pic

Already attached to star, Ben Stiller is now in talks to direct “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” at 20th Century Fox.

“The Pursuit of Happyness” scribe Steve Conrad is penning the script with Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and John Goldwyn producing. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. brought the project to Fox after working on it at Paramount.

Jeremy Kramer will oversee the film for 20th.

Pic is a reimagining of the 1947 comedy starring Danny Kaye, which itself was originally based on a short story by James Thurber.

Thurber’s story is centered around a day-dreaming book editor who can’t seem to do anything right, so he imagines all sorts exciting lives for himself. The 1947 pic was described as a loose adaptation.

Long-gestating project has had many rumored attachments throughout the past few years, including Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg as helmers and Mike Myers and Jim Carrey as stars. Gore Verbinski was rumored as a director as recently as last year.

Stiller is also set to star in “Neighborhood Watch.” His next pic, “Tower Heist,” comes out in November.

WME reps Stiller, whose production shingle, Red Hour Films, is based on the Fox lot.

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