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Even though the drama Labor Day, director Jason Reitman’s fifth film, is just hitting the festival circuit now and won’t be released to the general public for another few months, the filmmaker is already starting to connect the dots on his next feature. Deadline reports will the project will be an adaptation of the novel Men, Women, and Children by author Chad Kultgen. Not only that, but he’s got a solid squad of actors he’s interested in getting for this project, including Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Cameron Diaz.
When it comes to comedic dramas, Reitman is as dependable as they come, and while this book doesn’t seem like an ideal work to adapt, it offers a solid balance between humor and emotional turmoil. Published in 2011, Kultgen’s novel is a character study focused on the modern American family, and how technology and the internet have completely altered the familial landscape. It’s about the overt sexuality of teenagers and the repressed sexuality of their parents. It’s about making connections and the construct of the identity. It very well may resemble the disjointed-but-connected narratives of Henry Alex Rubin’s Disconnect , only with more laughs than suicidal feelings.
Reitman’s films are often centered on two or three people with a smattering of other characters in supporting roles, but he’ll have to pack more people into this one if the screenplay isn’t streamlined. I guess that’s why he’s getting the adults out of the way early, since casting a bunch of junior high-age actors will probably be a tougher task.
Indie powerhouse Indian Paintbrush is looking to finance the film, which is being planned as a co-production between Reitman's Right of Way shingle and Mr. Mudd, the production company co-founded by John Malkovich. Of course, nobody is making anything official just yet, but if everything goes smoothly, they’re planning to begin production on the film as early as November. Given Labor Day had sight unseen long been considered an awards contender, mixed reviews at Telluride coupled with the production date don’t exactly lend themselves to a strong For Your Consideration push at the end of the year. But we’ll see.
It would be great to see Sandler in a dramatic role again, which he pulled off in films like Funny People and Punch Drunk Love, instead of him just pumping out bullshit like Grown Ups 2. He’s currently filming Frank Coraci’s The Familymoon with Drew Barrymore.
DeWitt recently finished filming Michael Cuesta’s crime mystery Kill the Messenger. She can be seen in Lynn Shelton’s drama Touchy Feely, which is out now, and in Scott Rodgers’ comedy The Dramatics, which should be out later this year.
You'll be able to catch Diaz later this year in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor. She’s currently filming Nick Cassavetes’ infidelity comedy The Other Woman, and is set to star in Jake Kasdan’s comedy Sex Tape and Will Gluck’s reworking of the musical Annie.
Garner is having something of a career renaissance, starring in Jean-Marc Vallée’s upcoming drama Dallas Buyers Club and the upcoming football comedy Draft Day. She is also currently filming both Miguel Arteta’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Dan Fogelman’s drama Imagine.
It's possible that not all of these performers are going to sign on given their busy schedules, but we’ll let you know if anything changes.