Meg Ryan will be making her directorial debut with Into The Beautiful, Variety is reporting.

The film is to be a comedy-drama, scripted by Anne Meredith, a relatively little-known writer, who was part of the team that wrote Rated X, the Emilio Estevez-directed TV movie about the notorious Mitchell Brothers, starring Estevez and his brother Charlie Sheen in the leading roles.

Ryan, who is approaching the big 50 mark this year with her birthday in November, has had a wealth of experience in comedy-dramas throughout her career, after her leading role in When Harry Met Sally… brought her international recognition back in 1989. Now, she has decided to step behind the camera lens for the first time, and I have to admit, I’m quite looking forward to seeing how this film turns out. Ryan’s expertise in the genre will almost certainly give her a great vantage point from which to start her directorial career.

Into The Beautiful will be produced by Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump, Stepmom) and Natalie Marciano, and executive produced by Lisa Zupan (The Devil Wears Prada, P.S. I Love You), and has been described as having a modern day feel of the 1983 Academy Award-nominated The Big Chill, seeing long-time friends reconnect.

Of the film, Finerman has said,

“I’m often drawn to pictures that make you laugh and cry… I think this is the perfect project for Meg to bring to life. She’s poignant and funny and heartfelt.”

Casting will be beginning soon, with plans to start shooting in September, and there is currently no intention to cast Ryan in the film. It will be interesting to see in what direction they decide to take the casting, whether they’ll try and give the film an instant audience with some recognisable faces, or opt for the alternative and let some lesser-known actors and actresses emerge instead.

Ryan’s more recent films – In the Cut, The Women, Serious Moonlight – haven’t attracted nearly as much recognition or popularity as her earlier roles (though I personally think she was excellent in In the Land of Women, opposite Adam Brody and Kristen Stewart). So I think a bit of a break to instead delve into the director’s chair could be just what she needs. More news as and when we get it.