Adam Sandler may go heavy-duty again. The comedian is getting back into Punch-Drunk Love territory by joining with Jennifer Garner and Rosemarie DeWitt for Men, Women & Children, a darkly satiric film that director Jason Reitman is currently putting together.
The Up in the Air and Thank You For Smoking filmmaker has worked with Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary, Chloe) to co-write an adaptation of the Chad Kultgen novel, about a group of families coming apart at the seams over sex, loyalty, ambition, and the isolation of an increasingly networked world.
The independently produced film is still in the early phase and doesn’t have a studio home yet, but Reitman has secured the interest of his three lead actors, according to sources close to the project. The news was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s not clear yet who each of the actors would play, but one of the main characters is a father who is obsessed with porn, while his wife goes in search of passion elsewhere. Another plotline focuses on an obsessive mother whose teenage daughter wants to be thin and beautiful at any cost.
This would be Sandler and DeWitt’s first projects with Reitman, but the director has previously worked with Garner on Juno. Men, Women & Children would be produced by Helen Estabrook and Mason Novick.
Kultgen is a provocative and often divisive author, who’s not at all shy about diving into the dark side of sex, relationships, and families. His other books include The Lie, about three college students bent on seducing and/or destroying each other, and The Average American Male, in which the self-obsessed protagonist ruminates constantly on sex, videogames, porn, and …. sex.
Men, Women & Children was described by Kultgen as a fusion of his acidic, button-pushing storytelling with a more human and emotional core. “This is certainly a conscious effort to do something a little more substantial,” he told The New York Times when the book came out in 2011. “I tried to be a little more serious.”
Reitman is currently at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he will stage a Live Read of the script for Boogie Nights on Friday, and showcase his latest film, Labor Day, on Saturday night.