According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures' on-again, off-again The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is off again as far as the studio is concerned. Paramount confirmed Friday that the long-gestating project, which was to have starred Owen Wilson, is in turnaround.
Sources said the project lost momentum at Paramount after the studio failed to cast a female lead to play opposite Wilson. Scarlett Johansson emerged as the front-runner after screen-testing with Wilson this month, but a deal never closed. Although she is believed to still be interested in the project, Wilson, who had signed on to play the title character in June contingent upon a female lead being cast, recently withdrew from the project. Sources say Zach Braff is now the front-runner to play Mitty in the remake of 1947 comedy classic to be directed by Mark Waters and produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and John Goldwyn.
Paramount denied that the delay in casting a female lead played a role in pushing Wilson off the project. Meanwhile, Goldwyn Jr. cited creative differences for the project being put in turnaround. "This is the best possible solution", he said.