Meet the future Mother. I have learned that Meg Ryan has been quietly tapped as the narrator in CBS‘ How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad. In the way that Bob Saget supplied the voice of future Ted (Josh Radnor) in HIMYM, Ryan will voice future Sally (played by Greta Gerwig) in the spinoff, telling her kids the story of how she’d met their dad. Like Saget, Ryan will never be seen on the show. CBS and How I Met Your Dad producer 20th Century Fox TV declined comment. In the vein of the original series, HIMYD tells the story from a female point of view, that of Sally (Gerwig), and revolves around a new group of friends in New York, played by Gerwig, Drew Tarver, Nick D’Agosto, Andrew Santino and Tiya Sircar. The spinoff pilot has been garnering strong early buzz and is considered a leading candidate for a series pickup for next season. Ryan is with ICM Partners.
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are reuniting. Ryan will make her directorial debut on Ithaca, which will be executive produced by Hanks and his Playtone partner Gary Goetzman. Adapted from William Saroyan’s novel The Human Comedy, the film is set in 1942 in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where 14-year-old Homer Macauley is determined to be the best and fastest bicycle telegraph messenger anyone has ever seen. His older brother has gone to war, leaving Homer to look after his widowed mother, his older sister and his 4-year-old brother. As spring turns to summer, Homer delivers messages of love, hope, pain and death to the good people of Ithaca. He’ll also struggle with one message that will change him forever. Ryan will act in the film alongside Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith, and Ryan’s son Jack Quaid. Erik Jendresen (Band Of Brothers) wrote the screenplay. Janet Brenner, Laura Ivey, Ryan and Jendresen are producing. The Exchange is handling worldwide sales and will start shopping the title in Berlin next week. Production is set to begin this summer.
Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally star Meg Ryan is eying a return to television as the star of an NBC comedy series. The project, now in development at the network and sister studio Universal TV, is being written by feature scribe Marc Lawrence (Miss Congeniality franchise), who teamed with the actress in the summer to work on the idea. The single-camera comedy centers on, a sunny, devoted and desperately non-confrontational single mom (Ryan) who decides to return to her New York publishing house where she was once a brilliant editor to find that she now works for Brenda, he neurotic 30-year-old boss who was once her former intern. Now she must find a way to keep her boss, her teenage kids, her almost ex-husband and her meddlesome mother-in-law all happy, which results in her overcomplicating every situation and somehow always making it worse. Ryan is executive producing with her manager, Jane Berliner, and Lawrence. ICM Partners-repped Ryan got her start on soap As The World Turns and co-starred on the short-lived NBC sitcom One Of The Boys before segueing to a feature career, making just a couple of TV appearances in the past two decades. Still, she had been a fixture on TV casting directors’ hot pilot casting lists and has been approached about doing pilots year after …
In introducing Screenwriting award winner Nora Ephron at a Hollywood Film Awards ceremony a couple of years ago her good friend and admirer Steven Spielberg said, “Nora knows how so easily to make us laugh and to make us cry and embrace the human comedy of it all. And she does it without any bathroom humor.”
That was the great thing about this multi-talented writer/director/author who clearly had a knack for writing about men and women, particularly the latter, without ever trivializing them or reaching for the lowest common denominator in what passes for many studio-bred movie comedies today. And she did it all with so much style, sophistication, flair and wit. It’s the end of an era. The Hollywood in which Nora Ephron excelled seems to be passing quickly before our eyes.
Related: Nora Ephron Dies At 71
It’s interesting to note that in 1983 when she got her first feature film script produced, Silkwood (directed by Mike Nichols), there were hardly any women in real power positions in the studios. Slowly, but fortunately that changed because it enabled Nora Ephron to be able to make movies her way in the studio system, and for that we are eternally grateful.
In her greatest screen successes as a writer of her Oscar-nominated script for When Harry Met Sally (1989) and later sitting in the director’s chair as well for such huge …
Production begins today on Gambit, a caper comedy that stars Colin Firth as a London art curator who plans to con England’s richest man into buying a phony Monet painting. To do it, he enlists a Texas steer roper (Cameron Diaz) to pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII. Michael Hoffman is directing, Alan Rickman and Tom Courtenay also star, and it’s Firth’s first big job since winning the Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech. And the script was written by Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen. Isn’t Hollywood great, the way these things just magically come together?
Gambit actually took a remarkable 14 years to get to this point, a case study on how impossible it is for producers to succeed without infinite patience and an inability to comprehend the word “no.” These Don Quixote types are the only ones in the moviemaking equation who don’t cash big paychecks through the development process, collecting serious fees only when their movies get made. They have a harder road than ever, because cost-cutting studios have made first-look producer deals an endangered species. After all, producers are bringing them projects anyway. In the case of Gambit, the driving force has been producer Mike Lobell. A seasoned vet who has gotten 14 pictures made — The Freshman, Honeymoon in Vegas and Striptease among them — Lobell …
United Talent Agency today signed actress Meg Ryan. The actress had been repped by CAA. UTA will handle her as an actress and filmmaker in TV and movies. She’s preparing to make her directorial debut on the ensemble drama Little Black Train, which Wendy Finerman and Nathalie Marciano will produce. She last starred in 2009′s Serious Moonlight.
Joe Anderson, who was just cast in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, has signed to star with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Meg Ryan, and Kat Dennings in Lives of the Saints. The drama will be directed by Chris Rossi and is produced and financed by Claude Dal Farra. The film is about a group of Los Angeles residents, all wrestling with troubled pasts, who cross paths on a road they hope will lead to redemption. Anderson, who plays a drifter trying to maintain a quick wit despite his diminishing circumstances, recently starred in The Crazies and Across The Universe.