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Ben Stiller's 'Secret Life of Walter Mitty' to be NYFF centerpiece

August 01, 2013|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Ben Stiller stars in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which will be the centerpiece of the New York Film Festival.
Ben Stiller stars in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which… (Wilson Webb / Twentieth…)

Fresh off the buzz from its new trailer, Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" has nabbed the centerpiece slot at the New York Film Festival, where it will make its world premiere Oct. 5.

Organizers announced the news Thursday, with programming director Kent Jones calling the movie "a beautifully lyrical comic epic, grounded in present day realities and concerns." Stiller directs and stars in the mystical dramedy, which draws off the same James Thurber New Yorker story as the 1947 Danny Kaye classic.

Fox releases the film on Dec 25, hoping to capture some of the all-ages magic it did with the global hit "Life of Pi" last year. The new trailer shows a meditative Stiller as he dreams of a life beyond his mundane existence as a magazine editor. Kristen Wiig costars.

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The decision by Fox to premiere the film at NYFF gives "Walter Mitty"--which some observers have been unsure of where to put on the prestige-commercial continuum--an instant stamp of award-season credibility.

The NYFF centerpiece is often a world premiere of an anticipated end-of-year movie. The festival debuted David Chase's "Not Fade Away" in the slot last year and "My Week With Marilyn" in 2011.

The festival previously announced that the Paul Greengrass Somali pirate movie "Captain Phillips" would kick off the festival on Sept. 27.


Trailer for Ben Stiller's award-season hopeful debuts

Ben Stiller's 'Walter Mitty' reimagines Thurber's tale

Fox hopes to turn Stiller's 'Walter Mitty' into 'Pi'-sized success

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