Ben Stiller dreams big in first trailer for ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

Yesterday, I posted some new images from Ben Stiller’s upcoming remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” while noting that the film’s more extravagant flights of fancy were clearly being saved or a later unveiling. Immediately, a few of you replied with your thoughts on the film’s first trailer (which hit theaters with “The Wolverine” last weekend) and suggested that it could indeed be something special.

Well, the trailer has just hit the web, and it has done its job — color me fully intrigued, even if its sets my twee-alarm buzzing just a little. Stiller’s not an inexperienced or unaccomplished director, but he’s clearly aiming to surprise fans and skeptics alike with the visual scope and narrative reach of this romantic fantasy, in which he stars as the eponymous picture editor daydreaming his way to a more fulfilling existence.

The largely dialogue-free trailer does a nifty job of stirring interest whilst maintaining that essential “what the hell is it” allure. It offers just enough indication of how the film might manage its multiple levels of reality — it looks more convincingly dreamy than “Inception,” for starters — but is clearly still holding a lot of spectacle up its sleeve. Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh (an Oscar nominee way back when for “The Piano”) evidently has much to work with here, for starters.

So far, so good. 20th Century Fox is hoping audiences will be in the mood for the film’s whimsy when it arrives on Christmas Day, but the prestige veneer on this initial marketing push suggests they think awards voters might be similarly inclined. What do you think? Check out the trailer below, and share your thoughts in the comments.