By the end of its theatrical run, Jason Reitman's Internet drama “Men, Women & Children” will likely amount to the director's least financially successful picture. No, not every film can click with the zeitgeist like “Juno” and haul in $143.5 million. But when Reitman's Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin drama “Labor Day” tapped out at $13.4 million this past winter, analysts considered it a disappointment. This weekend's specialty box office reports pin “Men, Women & Children” just under $128,500 after its second weekend – something beyond mere disappointment for Reitman and Paramount Pictures.
The silver lining: With “Men, Women & Children,” Reitman found actors that ignite him and perhaps vice versa. The door for future collaborations appears to remain open, with the first already in motion.
As part of his on-going live-read series with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Reitman is set to direct a staged reading of Alan Ball's Academy Award-winning script “American Beauty.” He'll fill the iconic roles with “Men, Women & Children” cast members: Adam Sandler will play Lester Burnham, a suburban father under crisis that won Kevin Spacey an Oscar. Rosemarie DeWitt his set as his wife, previously played by the Oscar-nominated Annette Bening. Costars include Kaitlyn Dever in the role originated by Thora Birch, Olivia Crocicchia as the best friend and Lester's object of affection, Travis Trope as the plastic bag-obsessed boy-next-door and Dean Norris as Chris Cooper's ferocious military dad.
“I thought Adam Sandler would be a fascinating Lester Burnham, unlike any I”d ever imagined, Rosemarie DeWitt is about as phenomenal an actress as you can find right now,” Reitman told Entertainment Weekly, who broke the live-read news. “Kaitlin Dever probably would be cast in the Thora Birch role if American Beauty were being made today, just as Dean Norris could have easily have been cast in the Chris Cooper part.”
Reitman previously performed “American Beauty” as a live-read at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. The production starred Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, and Woody Harrelson in the Cooper part.
The “American Beauty” live-read is scheduled for Oct. 17 at LACMA. Ticket details can be found on LACMA's website. Along with the “Men, Women & Children”-pegged announcement, Reitman also unveiled the season's full lineup. Start imagining modern casts for Barry Levinson's “Diner” (November), “The Empire Strikes Back” (December), “Goodfellas” (January), and Richard Linklater's “Dazed and Confused” (March).