Production Begins on New Sam Mendes Comedy


Production has started in Connecticut this week on an untitled contemporary comedy directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty) from an original screenplay by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is being produced and co-financed by Big Beach, with Focus Features co-financing and distributing worldwide.

The untitled movie follows the journey of an expectant couple, as they travel the U.S. in search of a place to put down roots and raise a family. John Krasinski (“The Office”) and Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”) star as the parents-to-be. Rounding out the cast are Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), Carmen Ejogo (“Lackawanna Blues”), Jim Gaffigan (“My Boys”), Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Allison Janney (whom Mr. Mendes previously directed in American Beauty), Melanie Lynskey (“Two and a Half Men”), Chris Messina (Made of Honor), Kevin J. O’Connor (There Will Be Blood), Catherine O’Hara (Waiting for Guffman), and Paul Schneider (Lars and the Real Girl).

Ed Saxon (The Silence of the Lambs) is producing the film, through his Edward Saxon Productions, with producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf (Little Miss Sunshine) of Big Beach, and Mendes’ Neal Street Productions. Mari Jo Winkler (Dan in Real Life) is executive-producing; Pippa Harris, of Neal Street, is co-executive-producing.

Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is the film’s director of photography; Jess Gonchor (upcoming Burn After Reading) is the production designer; Sarah Flack (Lost in Translation) is the film editor; and John Dunn (Broken Flowers) is the costume designer.

Focus vice president of production and development David Gerson is supervising the project for president of production John Lyons. Filming throughout Connecticut will be followed by additional location work in Arizona and Florida.