Meg Ryan Is Returning To Rom-Coms For The First Time In Over A Decade With A New Leading Man Who's Not Tom Hanks

Meg Ryan in Ithaca
(Image credit: Momentum Pictures)

There was a time when actress Meg Ryan was known as the Queen of Rom-Coms. Some of the best Meg Ryan movies were When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Joe Versus The Volcano, and more. Her heartwarmingly romantic plot lines can make any girl watching wish she was in one of the movies. The last rom-com we ever saw Meg Ryan in was Serious Moonlight directed by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines. Thirteen years later, we can all hail the queen again as she is back to bring us heartwarming romance magic with a leading man by her side. But who is this leading man? Can it be five times a charm for Tom Hanks? Turns out, Meg Ryan is making her return to rom-coms for the first time in over a decade with a leading man who is not Tom Hanks.

The latest Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan pairing was when they reunited in Ryan’s directorial debut Ithaca. However, it looks like we’ll be seeing Meg Ryan with a new leading man whose name is actually…David Duchovny! It was revealed on Meg Ryan’s Instagram the movie poster of her latest rom-com called What Happens Later. We can see Meg Ryan’s name not once but twice on the poster as she will be back in the director’s chair again. While we have no trailer or release date yet, we still can’t help but be thrilled about this new upcoming movie.

You may know David Duchovny from television dramas like The X-Files and Twin Peaks. His newest projects were when he made his return in The X-Files season 11 and when he joined the cast of The Craft: Legacy a couple of years ago. The only romantic film this dramatic actor has ever done was when he co-starred with Minnie Driver in Return to Me about a widower who falls for a heart transplant survivor who is carrying the heart of his late wife. Clearly, Meg Ryan sees Duchovny’s two decades away from the romance genre and raises her one decade away from it to achieve what we hope to be chemistry that will make audiences melt.

This new rom-com would be an amazing comeback opportunity for Meg Ryan. After all, in recent years, she has not had the best luck when it’s come to new projects. For example, her directorial debut was actually supposed to be Into the Beautiful which was announced four years before Ithaca, but was never made. She was also supposed to be the voiceover role in the pilot of How I Met Your Dad, which ended up not being picked up and passed. Now, Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall has the voiceover role for Hulu’s How I Met Your Father. Luckily, there are still plans for Meg Ryan to star in the Epix comedy series Picture Paris which is based on the Brad Hall short film that starred Julia Louis Dreyfus. With her new rom-com film and her new TV series, hopefully everything will fall into place again for our classic rom-com queen.

Other than David Duchovny being Meg Ryan’s new leading man and the film directed by Ryan herself, here is what else we know so far about What Happens Later. According to Collider, this new rom-com is based on the play Shooting Star by acclaimed playwright Steven Dietz. He will adapt his own play for the big screen and collaborate with Meg Ryan and playwright Kirk Lynn who will all help with the writing. The plot of What Happens Later is about two ex-lovers who reunite decades later after being snowed in at the airport overnight. Over the course of the night, they feel they have no choice but to confront their past and see if there is any room for a future together. 

With hopes that we can eventually call What Happens Later a rom-com classic that we can keep close to our hearts, make sure to add it to your watchlist once the release date comes out. 

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.