Jason Reitman postpones production on ''Labor Day'' to sign Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

By Anthony Breznican
Updated June 24, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

The real Labor Day always seems to come far too soon, but the combined Oscar firepower behind Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day suggests it can’t come soon enough. The drama, based on Joyce Maynard‘s 2009 novel about an escaped convicted murderer who takes shelter with a troubled single mother and her young son, was set to begin production in New England this August — as soon as the Up in the Air filmmaker wrapped the Charlize Theron dark comedy Young Adult (out late this year). But Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, who expressed interest in the Labor Day leads, weren’t available during that time frame — so Reitman decided to postpone production until next summer. In the meantime, Winslet (an Oscar winner for 2008’s The Reader) is working on Roman Polanski‘s Carnage, based on the hit play God of Carnage, and Steven Soderbergh‘s pandemic thriller Contagion. Brolin (an Oscar nominee for 2008’s Milk) is finishing Men in Black III and will start the true-life period drama The Gangster Squad, inspired by a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times. Reitman is using the extra time before Labor Day to produce the high school comedy Elliot Allagash (based on the book by Simon Rich), and he’s also signed on to do a rewrite of the magician movie Burt Wonderstone for Steve Carell.