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Jason Reitman gets in touch with his feminine side

December 23, 2009 |  4:09 pm

Reitman Jason Reitman humanized a tobacco lobbyist in "Thank You for Smoking" and a corporate hatchet man in "Up in the Air." Now,  he’s turning to an equally charged subject: Joyce Maynard, the author who as a teenager had an affair with J.D. Salinger and then created a furor when she wrote about it 20 years later.

Reitman’s next movie isn’t about Maynard herself, but it is based on her novel "Labor Day," and the director is already feeling the heat from being associated with a scarlet woman of letters.

To Reitman, Maynard's critics are a little nuts. "From my perspective, it is like, really, you hold an 18-year-old girl responsible for being seduced by a 53-year-old published novelist?  I mean, what freak world do I live in here?" he says  (Reitman, who sat down with us last month to talk about “Up in the Air,” also thinks Roman Polanski’s defenders are cracked. "He ...  drugged a 13-year old girl!")

“Labor Day” tells of a single mother who, along with her son, is held hostage by an escaped convict.

Reitman, who’s also contemplating directing a script from “Rachel Getting Married” writer Jenny Lumet, is actually getting in touch with his feminine side. "I want to tell original stories, " he says. "And there are more  stories about women that have not been told.”

-- Rachel Abramowitz

Photo: Jason Reitman. Credit: Dale Robinette / DreamWorks Studios

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