Stars go for ride with Mendes


Jeff Daniels and Catherine O'Hara have joined the cast of helmer Sam Mendes' romantic comedy for Universal's Focus Features, which starts production this week in Connecticut.

The still-untitled named film follows the journey of an expectant couple (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski) traveling the U.S. in search of the right place to put down their roots and raise a family. Mendes is directing off an original screenplay by Dave Eggers ("Where the Wild Things Are") and his wife, novelist Vendela Vida.

Also newly cast are Carmen Ejogo ("Lackawanna Blues"), Jim Gaffigan ("My Boys"), Melanie Lynskey ("Two and a Half Men"), Chris Messina ("Made of Honor"), Kevin J. O'Connor ("There Will Be Blood") and Paul Schneider ("Lars and the Real Girl").

Allison Janney, Cheryl Hines and Toni Collette also star.

Ed Saxon is producing with Big Beach producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf and Mendes' Neal Street Prods. Neal Street's Pippa Harris is an executive producer along with Mari Jo Winkler.

Daniels just wrapped "State of Play" for Universal. Emmy winner O'Hara most recently lent her voice to "Where the Wild Things Are" for Warner Bros. Both are repped by ICM.