Update: Variety now reports that Malin Akerman (featured in Shankman‘s Rock of Ages) and Jason Sudeikis have entered the film’s orbit; it’s almost a certainty that one would play the sibling who’s yet to be cast. You can read the original story below.
Deadline has brought news of a promising comedic ensemble, with a report that Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages) and Warner Bros. close to nabbing Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Zac Efron, and Goldie Hawn for This is Where I Leave You, the silver screen adaptation of a novel by Jonathan Tropper — an adaptation the author scribed himself. As is, unsurprisingly, also the case with that book, Where I Leave You centers on four siblings who reunite at their family home after their father’s death, but are forced to face their family members’ true selves when something forces them to stay inside the house for an entire week. Hawn will play their mother, while the fourth member of the main group still needs to be found.
Upon reading that, the first thing that comes to mind is Roman Polanski‘s better-than-you’ve-heard Carnage — what with the small setting, tiny group of characters, and what happens when they’re combined — though some descriptions of Where I Leave You‘s hint at something far more human (and far less mean) than last year’s comedy. Although Shankman doesn’t have half of that man’s directing skill — nor is the cast necessarily up to snuff with Winslet, Foster, Reilly, and Waltz — one wouldn’t need too many reasons to develop interest in the film; everything about it seems perfectly fine.
Spring Creek are producing alongside Shankman‘s Offspring Entertainment, and shooting is on track to begin in September.
Here’s a longer synopsis of the original novel (via Amazon):
“The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.
Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.
As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.”
Do you see a good film emerging from this combination of talent and material?