'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' to Screen at New York Film Festival

Wilson Webb/Twentieth Century Fox
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The film, which Ben Stiller directs and stars in, will have its world premiere as the festival's Centerpiece Gala presentation.

Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been selected to screen at the New York Film Festival as the fest's Centerpiece Gala on Oct. 5.

Stiller directs and stars in the remake of James Thurber’s classic story of a daydreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. It also stars Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Patton Oswalt and Sean Penn. 20th Century Fox will release the film wide on Christmas Day.

“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. 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," said Kent Jones, NYFF’s director of programming and selection committee chair.

Added Rose Kuo, executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center: "Ben Stiller has long demonstrated an ability to mesh comic imagination with an eye toward the cultural zeitgeist, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is his crowning achievement. We are very excited to welcome him for his debut at the New York Film Festival. We know he grew up in the neighborhood, and we realized that he was too talented to keep out forever.”

The festival, which will open with Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips, runs from Sept. 27 to Oct. 13.