Steven Spielberg will no longer direct the Harvey remake at 20th Century Fox, reports Variety.
The studio was preparing an early 2010 start for the film, an adaptation of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a man who befriends a six and a half foot tall invisible rabbit.
The trade says the project has been a challenge to pull together since Spielberg committed last August. One of the biggest challenges has been setting a star to play Elwood P. Dowd, the character played by James Stewart in the 1950 film. Spielberg’s first choice was Tom Hanks, but he didn’t want to take over a role played by Stewart. Spielberg and Fox also courted Robert Downey Jr. who never committed but did make suggestions on rewrites.