ENTERTAINMENT
08/01/2013 01:26 pm ET

'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Announced As New York Film Festival Centerpiece Gala Presentation For 2013

On the heels of the beautiful first trailer for "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" comes word that Ben Stiller's new film will debut at the 2013 New York Film Festival. "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" was set as the Centerpiece Gala presentation by festival organizers on Thursday.

"Ben Stiller has expanded on James Thurber’s beloved short story and crafted a beautifully lyrical comic epic, grounded in present day realities and concerns. He is wonderful in the lead, Kristen Wiig is nothing short of magical as the woman of his dreams, and it’s great to see Shirley MacLaine in perfect form," Kent Jones, NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair said in a press release announcing the premiere. "'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' is one terrific ride, and I'm thrilled that we're able to present it as our Centerpiece screening."

That's likely music to the ears of Twentieth Century Fox executives, who took a chance on Stiller's big-budget fantasy comedy-drama.

"If I say to Fox that this movie is like 'Little Miss Sunshine' or 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' they freak out, understandably, because they're spending real money and they need to sell it as a big comedy," Stiller, who has directed four feature films in addition to "Walter Mitty," told New Yorker writer Tad Friend last year. "So I keep referring to 'Forrest Gump,' because it wasn't a big comedy, really, but it also made a ha-zillion dollars. I'm trying to do two things at once: make a movie that brings in a lot of people, but also one that will be really good, and will last."

"The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" is set for release on Dec. 25. Watch the film's trailer, which certainly confounds all expectations, above. The New York Film Festival runs from Sept. 27 through Oct. 13.

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