EXCLUSIVE: There have been many attempts in Hollywood to bring the classic Jimmy Stewart dramedy Harvey to the big screen, the latest being about nine years ago with Steven Spielberg (and Tom Hanks’ name being bandied about) under a Fox/DreamWorks machination. Now Netflix is readying to pull the 6 ft. rabbit out of its hat with writers J. David Stem and David N. Weiss who are set to adapt a remake of the 1950 film. Fábrica de Cine, which is in business with Netflix’s highly anticipated Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro mob film The Irishman, is also on board to produce this one.
Harvey began as a play before becoming a beloved film about a man named Elwood P. Dowd who has a maybe-not-so-imaginary 6ft. tall rabbit friend named Harvey. The story has been brought to the small screen five times since its feature film debut some 69 years ago, but repeated attempts to bring a remake to the big screen has yet to come. The play was written by Mary Chase and it has bounced around Hollywood since 1996 when producer Don Gregory snatched up the rights and then sold them to Miramax before the rights lapsed and was picked up by Fox.
Perhaps Netflix will be the place that brings Harvey back to life. The project offers a number of great roles but the centerpiece is certainly the lovable Dowd.
The writing team is a good one, having previously penned Shrek 2 and The Smurfs franchise. Shrek 2 was nominated as Best Animated Film in 2004. Up next for the writing duo is the Toei Animation/Bona Film Group feature animated film The Monkey King, to be directed by John A Davis (Ant Bully).
Stem and Weiss are represented by Verve and attorney Christine Cuddy.