We recently reported that Jason Reitman’s drama Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin just launched at Telluride and now it looks like he is quickly moving on to his next project, an adaptation of the 2011 Chad Kultgen novel Men, Women, and Children. Indian Paintbrush is up for financing the project while Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, and possibly Cameron Diaz are circling lead roles.
Reitman has an affinity for dealing with themes of isolation and family. Films like Up in the Air, Juno, and Thank You for Smoking (and from the sound of it Labor Day as well) have a down to earth, heartfelt quality, and are steeped in realism despite the at times exaggerated nature of some plot and/or character elements. Kultgen’s novel then seems perfectly tailored for the director as it deals with junior high students and “sexual awakenings in a digital age where the Internet has made pornography, blogs and social networking just a few clicks away.” It has been noted that this particular novel takes a more serious tone than Kultgen’s previous works which include The Average American Male and The Lie. Apparently, Reitman has been a long-time fan of Kultgen. In a report from The New York Times Reitman describes The Average American Male in an email as “beautifully blunt and honest. It was shocking, but not because the content was unfamiliar. It was just a new experience to see those words written down.” It seems right that Reitman would finally get his hands on a Kultgen novel.
It has also been speculated that if Sandler decides to go through with the project, he will be able to showcase his dramatic acting skills as well as a bit of his comedic persona (as Reitman always seems to add a bit of comedy to his films). The role will offer Sandler a bit of the spotlight he earned on movies such as Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish, and Reign Over Me.
The film is aiming for a November start date.