Director Jason Reitman has commenced production on his next feature, the drama Labor Day. The film is based on the Joyce Maynard novel of the same name and centers on a 13-year-old boy who convinces his reclusive mother to take in a drifter over Labor Day weekend. It’s later revealed that the man is an escaped convict and the three spend a weekend together that will “shape them for the rest of their lives.” Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star as the two leads, and Reitman felt so strongly about his cast that he pushed the production schedule back a year until both Winslet and Brolin were free.
Reitman wrote the screenplay himself and is directing Labor Day as his follow-up to last year’s Young Adult. As a big fan of Reitman’s past work (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air), I’m eager to see him tackle this weighty dramatic material. Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek also star in the film. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the updated synopsis.
Coming off of last year’s excellent (and sadly underseen) Young Adult, director Jason Reitman is gearing up to begin production on his next project, Labor Day, this summer. Reitman scripted the adaptation of Joyce Manard’s novel himself, and Kate Winselt stars as a lonely mother whose 13-year-old son convinces her to take in a drifter (Josh Brolin) who turns out to be an escaped convict. The three spend Labor Day Weekend together and, obviously, bond. THR now reports that James Van Der Beek has joined the cast as a police officer investigating a missing person’s case ($10 says he shows up on Winslet’s doorstep at some point in the film).
Additionally, a separate report from THR reveals that, following an extensive search, Reitman has settled on Gattlin Griffith (Changeling) to play Winslet’s son in the film. The deal isn’t closed, but the actor has entered negotiations. The role is crucial as the story is told from the boy’s point of view. I’m a big fan of Reitman so I’m eager to check this one out. The director will have waited nearly a year to start production so that Winslet and Brolin’s schedules could free up, so clearly he’s passionate about what he’s put together. [Update: Feeling left out by the Labor Day casting party, Variety now adds that Brighid Fleming has landed the young female lead in the film, a character who acts as the object of Griffith's affection.]