While he’s currently busy putting the finishing touches on the 80s musical Rock of Ages, director Adam Shankman looks to have lined up his next project. Variety reports that Shankman is in early negotiations to produce and direct an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You. The book tells the story of a dysfunctional family that is forced to reunite when their father requests they sit Shivah for seven days following his death. The drama has been in development with Warner Bros. for quite a while, and was one of the films David Yates was considering following the conclusion of the Harry Potter series.
Shankman hasn’t taken on dramatic-skewing material since 2002’s A Walk to Remember, but he has plenty of experience with family-centered stories. I enjoyed the hell out of Hairspray, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can scale things back for a more intimate drama without veering into sappy territory. He recently signed on to direct a new iteration of The Nutcracker, but WB is hoping to start production on This is Where I Leave You late this summer so The Nutcracker may be a ways off. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Tropper’s novel.
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.
This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not. [Amazon]