Meg Ryan is directing her first feature film, Ithaca, an adaptation of the 1943 William Saroyan novel The Human Comedy, The Guardian reported.
She will also star in the film alongside Sam Shepard and Melanie Griffith, while Tom Hanks, who Ryan memorably starred alongside in Sleepless In Seattle and You've Got Mail, will be executive producer. Also starring will be Meg Ryan's son Jack Quaid, best known for his role as Marvel in The Hunger Games movies.
The Human Comedy, written for the Ryan version by Band of Brothers producer Erik Jendresen, is about a teenage telegram delivery boy in small-town America during World War II, witnessing the impact of the conflict on those he delivers messages to. The novel was actually originally written as a screenplay by Saroyan, before he was fired from the project; he swiftly turned it round into a novel and published it before the film came out, which starred Mickey Rooney in the lead role.
Ryan has been relatively quiet of late, focusing on family life and only appearing in a few episodes of Lisa Kudrow sitcom Web Therapy since her 2009 film Serious Moonlight. But in November it was also announced that she would take the lead in an upcoming sitcom for US TV network NBC, playing a single mum who returns to work at her publishing house with her former intern as her boss.
In 2011, it was announced that Ryan would direct Into The Beautiful, described as "a contemporary Big Chill with longtime friends reconnecting", but it was never made.