The film is an adaptation of the 2009 novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, who also wrote To Die For, which was adapted for the screen back in 1995 with Gus Van Sant at the helm and Nicole Kidman in the lead, relatively early on in both their careers.
Reitman has adapted the novel for the screen already, and is set to take the director’s job for the project too. His three feature films to date (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air) have all been successful with audiences, and they show that he’s clearly a director we should all be keeping close tabs on.
Labor Day will see Winslet playing,
“a single mother of a young son who takes in a stranger [Brolin] with a dangerous past. She falls in love with him over the course of Labor Day Weekend.”
Winslet has most recently turned her attention to the five-part TV drama, Mildred Pierce, playing the eponymous character, a role which she’s been highly praised for. It’s been a few years since she’s starred in any features, back in late 2008 with Revolutionary Road and The Reader, the latter of which won her her Oscar for Best Actress, to go with her five nominations. But we can look forward to seeing her in Roman Polanski’s Carnage, alongside Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, alongside Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and Movie 43, which has one of the best ensemble casts I think I’ve ever seen, including Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Chloë Moretz, Emma Stone, Uma Thurman, Johnny Knoxville, and Hugh Jackman, to name but a few.
Brolin is an actor who has been around for a good few years longer than Winslet, getting his first ever role in that brilliant ’80s film we all love, The Goonies, but it’s only been in the past few years that he’s truly come to be a rising star, with roles in Milk (for which he got his Oscar nomination), True Grit, and the upcoming Men in Black III as the Young Agent K.
The original novel is told through the eyes of Henry, the young son of Winslet’s character, and so the success of the film will quite possibly depend in a large way on the acting capabilities of whoever is cast as the young boy. Winslet and Brolin are of course already well established in their craft, and the film will need just as strong a young actor for the characters’ relationships with each other to truly work.
Reitman is currently finishing up work on Young Adult, in which he partnered back up with Juno’s screenwriter, Diablo Cody, which is another project to be very excited about. Once he’s finished work on that, hopefully his attentions can then turn to Labor Day and get the project truly rolling towards production, and finding the young teen to play Winslet’s son.