Ryan reteams with Hanks for new project…

Meg Ryan is set to make her directorial debut with the Erik Jendresen-penned ensemble ‘Ithaca,’ with Ryan’s ‘Sleepless In Seattle’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail’ co-star Tom Hanks producing.

Adapted from William Saroyan’s novel, ‘The Human Comedy,’ the film is set in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley, ‘Ithaca’ tells the story of 14-year-old Homer Macauley who 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, Ulysses. And so it is that as spring turns to summer, 1942, Homer Macauley delivers messages of love, hope, pain and death to the good people of Ithaca. And Homer Macauley will grapple with one message that will change him forever – from a boy into a man.

Production is set to begin this summer with a cast that includes Ryan, Sam Shepard (‘August: Osage County,’ ‘Mud’), Melanie Griffith (‘Working Girl’), and Jack Quaid (‘Hunger Games’). Additionally casting will be revealed as production approaches.

“’Ithaca’ is a deceptively simple story, by turns stark and lyrical. It’s sometimes shockingly unsentimental and yet, by some little miracle, never cynical. I am delighted to no end to bring a tale of such vibrancy and heart to the screen” Ryan said in a statement.

Hanks and Play Tone partner Gary Goetzman will executive produce the film, with Janet Brenner (‘The Last Five Years’), Laura Ivey (‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’), Ryan and Jendresen (‘Band of Brothers’) co-producing.