Sean Penn Joining Ben Stiller in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

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Alex Wong, Getty Images

We haven't seen much of Sean Penn since he appeared in Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life' last year, but now word comes down that he is doing, of all things, a comedy. The intense (see above), Oscar-winning actor is joining Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Patton Oswalt in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.'

Deadline broke the news that Penn is in talks to take a "small but pivotal" role in the film, which Stiller is directing and playing the title character in. The 20th Century Fox project is a remake of the 1947 picture starring Danny Kaye, in which a mild-mannered editor of pulp magazines escapes from his mundane daily life through wildly imaginative daydreams.

The original film (and the new one, we presume) is based loosely on a short story by James Thurber which is widely considered his most famous and one of the most anthologized tales in American literature.

In the update, Penn will apparently play a photographer for the magazine at which Stiller's Mitty works as a photo editor. The rest of the cast includes Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine and Kathryn Hahn.

Penn will next be seen in 'Gangster Squad' and 'This Must Be The Place,' two very different films from 'Mitty,' so it will be interesting to see him take a rare foray into comedy. Would you like to see Penn lighten up in a role for the first time in a long while?

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