Tom Hanks is in talks to reunite with his Sleepless in Seattle co-star star Meg Ryan in Ithaca, the film adaptation of William Saroyan‘s classic 1943 novel The Human Comedy that marks Ryan’s directorial debut. She’ll start shooting next month in Virginia.
Hanks would make a cameo in the Word War II coming-of-age saga about life on the home front. He’s already closely involved in the project, serving as executive producer alongside his partner at Playtone, Gary Goetzman. Brian O’Shea‘s The Exchange acquired worldwide rights to the project earlier this year and has been shopping it to foreign buyers.
Ithaca will mark the fourth time that Hanks and Ryan have appeared together on the big screen after Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve got Mail, their last film, released in 1998.
Ryan will direct Ithaca from an adapted script by Erik Jendresen, who worked with Hanks on the acclaimed HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Janet Brenner and Laura Ivey are producing. Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith and Jack Quaid also will star.
Set in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley in 1942, Ithaca recounts the story of 14-year-old Homer Macauley, a telegraph bike messenger. His older brother has gone to fight in World War II, leaving him to care for his widowed mother, his older sister and his four-year-old brother, Ulysses. The effects of the war are revealed as Homer delivers messages of love, friendship, pain and death, including one message that alters his own life forever. Hanks would play the boy’s father.
Hanks, who just finished shooting A Hologram for a King, recently announced that he’ll star in Steven Spielberg‘s untitled Cold War thriller for DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox. The actor is repped by CAA.