Meg Ryan is making her directorial debut with the film Ithaca, and as the first trailer shows, it has a You’ve Got Mail reunion. Tom Hanks makes a cameo in the film about a young boy working to support his family during World War II as a bike messenger for his hometown of Ithaca. Another mail reference!
Alex Neustaedter of USA’s Colony plays the boy, named Homer, who takes this work upon himself when his older brother goes off to war. It’s based on the 1943 novel by William Saroyan called The Human Comedy, which was already adapted for a film the same year with director Clarence Brown and Mickey Rooney in the role of Homer.
Ryan has known Hanks for quite some time, having also starred with him in films like Joe Versus the Volcano and Sleepless in Seattle. She told EW that Hanks’ role, which took one day to shoot, was “an act of friendship.” She said, “He so did not have to do that. At the end of his time, he says to the crew, ‘All right, gather ‘round. Listen, I know we’ve gotten to know each other very well over the last 10 hours together, but I just want to thank you for being here for my friend Meg.’”
Watch the trailer below.
Also featured in the film are Sam Shepard, Molly Gordon, Hamish Linklater, and Jack Quaid (Ryan’s son with ex-husband Dennis Quaid). The film premiered last year during the Middleburg Film Festival, and it will now open in limited release on September 9.
Here’s the synopsis:
Set in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley, ITHACA tells the story of 14-year-old Homer Macauley who is determined to be the best and fastest bicycle telegraph messenger anyone has ever seen. His older brother has gone to war, leaving Homer to look after his widowed mother, his older sister and his 4-year-old brother, Ulysses. And so it is that as spring turns to summer, 1942, Homer Macauley delivers messages of love, hope, pain and death to the good people of Ithaca. And Homer Macauley will grapple with one message that will change him forever – from a boy into a man.