On paper, director Shawn Levy’s ensemble dramedy This is Where I Leave You sounded like it held Oscar hopes in its back pocket. Now, news of a September release date confirm our suspicions.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. will drop Leave You into theaters on Sept. 12, 2014. The movie will be adapted from Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 book, with the author handling screenwriting duties. It will focus around members of a dysfunctional family reuniting for their father’s funeral, so there’s ample opportunity for laughter and tears.
Levy has been steadily casting his dream ensemble for Leave You tapping several actors with whom he has worked in the past. Jason Bateman and Tina Fey – who worked with Levy on Date Night in 2010 – are the leads in Leave You. Which might suggest that the September release will be as wacky and slapsticky as this:
At the same time, Levy has filled out his ensemble of versatile actors who can handle drama and comedy. Deadline notes that there are parts in Leave You for: Adam Driver, who currently steals scenes in Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne, who worked with the director on The Internship, Ben Schwartz, Corey Stoll, Dax Shepard, Timothy Olyphant and Kathryn Hahn, who is a welcome addition to virtually any ensemble.
The wild card is Levy. He actually took over This is Where I Leave You from director Adam Shankman, whose previous credits include Hairspray, Rock of Ages, The Pacifier and Cheaper By the Dozen 2. When you factor is Levy’s body of work – including the Night at the Museum movies – it’s easy to believe that Leave You is going to fall into that pack of safe, easy humor. The subject matter, and the strength of the ensemble, have me believing that Leave You can aspire to be more than that … that it might be able to pluck at an audience’s heartstrings and, maybe, contend for awards. The September release date might mean that Leave You plays a few fall festivals, maybe to test the Oscar waters? We won’t really know until we see a trailer.
For now, all we know is that Leave You will open opposite Sony’s No Good Deed and the Universal comedy Search Party. We’ll keep our eyes open for posters, images and trailers as Warner eases into 2014 and starts prepping audiences for its fill slate.