James Thurber’s 1939 short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was so evocative that its title character became a dictionary entry. A Walter Mitty is a timid person with larger-than-life daydreams—and, this winter, Ben Stiller is too.
In the upcoming movie adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Stiller stars as Mitty, a mild-mannered employee at LIFE magazine who dreams of becoming worthy of the periodical’s pages (and of his co-worker Cheryl, played by Kristin Wiig). Of course, as with most short stories that become movies, the plot doesn’t cleave precisely to the source material: unlike the original Mitty, whose adventures are purely internal, Stiller’s Mitty ends up taking action, as the trailer below makes clear.
This Secret Life has special appeal to all of us here at TIME, working here in the Time-Life Building and sharing a parent company with the online incarnation of LIFE and, for some of us, getting to see a bit of the filming that went on right in front of the building. Also we all run dramatically through hallways like every day, so it looks pretty accurate, as far as office-building stuff goes.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens Dec. 25, 2013.