Looks like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to woo film productions to the Commonwealth are paying off. Virginians can look forward to spotting Sally Albright, er, Meg Ryan, around — she’ll be shooting her first directorial project, a film called “Ithaca” based on William Saroyan’s 1942 novel “The Human Comedy.”

Ryan isn’t the only big name attached to the project: Tom Hanks (Ryan’s co-star in just about every 90’s romcom) is executive-producing, and actor/playwright Sam Shepard (who owned a farm in central Virginia for years with his ex, Jessica Lange) is in the cast — as is Jack Quaid, Ryan’s 22 year-old son with actor Dennis Quaid.

Filming is slated to start next month in the Richmond-Petersburg area, per the governor’s office. “We couldn’t be happier that Meg Ryan has chosen Virginia as the location for her directorial debut,” McAuliffe enthused in a press release. “Ithaca is a heart-warming story, and we are proud that it will be shot in the Commonwealth.”

In the release, Ryan declared herself to be “happily surprised by the cinemagraphic opportunities, the talent of the filmmaking community and the variety of resources at our disposal.”


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