In a story from Variety Steven Spielberg's next film will be Harvey which is an adaptation of the Mary Chase Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

The film follows a man who strikes up a friendship with a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit. Jimmy Stewart played the man in the 1950 version of the film.

This movie will be a co-production between 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks. DreamWorks will put up 50% of the money via its new funding relationship with Reliance. The film will be distributed either domestically or internationally through its new deal with Disney.

Spielberg plans for production to start next year. He is looking to hire Tom Hanks or Will Smith for the title role.

The famed director has been wanting to make a new film for awhile and he opted to even do a project that was developed outside DreamWorks or Paramount. Spielberg had even been eyeing such projects as the Tony Kushner-scripted Lincoln and The 39 Clues.

Fox chairman Tom Rothman was the person who was able to bring Spielberg to Fox. He took Jonathan Trooper's Harvey script to the director. He and DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider "felt that while the source material is 65 years old, its themes are timely, uplifting and relatable."

Spielberg had also been circling the Paul Attanasio-scripted rewrite of Matt Helm, but ultimately there was some trepidation about how much that movie might cost. The director is attached to produce that project.

Evan Jacobs