Amid its tale of a teenage boy’s coming-of-age during World War II, Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, Ithaca, also contains a moment you’ve been waiting for since 1998: the actress’ onscreen reunion with Tom Hanks. And EW has an exclusive first look at the pair’s time together in the film.
After last appearing together in You’ve Got Mail, Hanks and Ryan share the screen for a brief (but nonetheless beautiful) moment in Ithaca when Hanks makes a cameo as the late husband of Ryan’s character. They also previously teamed up for 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle and 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano.
“He’s just so dear. He so did not have to do that. It took him a day to [shoot his scene],” the 54-year-old actress and director previously told EW of Hanks’ cameo. “At the end of his time, he says to the crew, ‘All right, gather ‘round. Listen, I know we’ve gotten to know each other very well over the last 10 hours together, but I just want to thank you for being here for my friend Meg.’ It was such an act of friendship. I love him so much.”
After premiering at the Middleburg Film Festival in 2015, Ithaca, which Ryan adapted from William Saroyan’s novel The Human Comedy with screenwriter Erik Jendresen, went on to screen at international festivals in Savannah, Dubai, and Sonoma before landing at Geena Davis’ female-focused Bentonville Film Festival in May.
Ryan has a supporting role in the film, while Alex Neustaedter takes the lead as Homer Macauley, the aforementioned teen who lands a job as a bicycle telegraph messenger, maturing in ways he never could have expected as his family awaits the return of his older brother, Marcus (Ryan’s son, Jack Quaid), after he’s shipped off to fight in the war. Sam Shepard and Hamish Linklater round out the film’s supporting cast.
Ithaca enters limited release on Sept. 9. Watch the film’s trailer below, and check out the exclusive image of Ryan’s reunion with Hanks above.