Jason Bateman and Shawn Levy Moving Forward with THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU; Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoe Saldana, and More Testing for Roles

     February 9, 2013


The feature film adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel This is Where I Leave You is picking up some steam.  The project was initially gearing up to begin production last spring under director Adam Shankman with an ensemble cast that included Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Goldie Hawn, Leslie Mann, Malin Akerman, and Jason Sudeikis, but Shankman subsequently exited the project and casting deals were never completed, so movement stalled.  Shawn Levy came onboard to direct last fall, and now Bateman is back on the project as the search to fill out the rest of the cast begins in anticipation of a May or June production start date.

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, and the feature film adaptation has attracted a great deal of talent, with Harry Potter director David Yates previously flirting with the project.  Hit the jump to find out which actresses are currently testing for roles opposite Bateman.

mary-elizabeth-winstead-this-is-where-i-leave-youPer THR, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoe Saldana, Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers), and Ari Graynor (For a Good Time Call…) are among the actresses that are testing for roles.  Amy Adams is also apparently in the mix, but she’s not being asked to read for the part.  Most of the actresses are reading for the role of Penny, “the love that got away who works at her father’s company,” but Hahn is reading for the part of Bateman’s wife.

Though Levy just committed to directing Night at the Museum 3 for a Christmas 2014 release, he’s planning on first filming This Is Where I Leave You.  The filmmaker is looking to start production on the family drama/comedy in May or June, after which he’ll likely move right into Night at the Museum 3 to ensure that the effects-heavy sequel is ready in time for its December 2014 release.  It’s nice to see Levy tackling such a strong character-centric project, and I’m eager to see what kind of ensemble the filmmaker puts together for the film.

Read the synopsis for the book below.

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]


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