Jennifer Garner is gearing up for her next major Netflix project in the form of Family Leave, a new family comedy movie that’ll finally enter production by the end of 2022. Here’s what you need to know.
First announced in February 2021 (just ahead of the release of Yes Day on Netflix), Jennifer Garner would be playing the lead in a new family movie from Grey Matter Productions, About it Productions, and Linden Entertainment.
This will mark Garner’s fourth major title for Netflix following her voice role in Llama Llama, Yes Day, and 2022’s The Adam Project, where she starred alongside Ryan Reynolds and Mark Ruffalo.
Victoria Strouse serves as the writer on the movie adaptation, which is based on the children’s book Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Strouse is best known for working on Pixar’s Finding Dory, ABC’s October Road, and Disney’s Tink.
McG, who previously directed Rim of the World, The Babysitter, and its sequel The Babysitter Killer for Netflix will direct his fourth feature film for the streaming service in Family Leave.
This marks the writer’s second major Netflix movie following 2019’s Let It Snow starring Isabela Merced and Shameik Moore.
Justine Baddeley Arteta and Kim Davis-Wagner serve as casting directors on the feature film. McG, Lawrence Grey, Ben Everard, Nicole King, and Jason Brian Rosenthal serve as producers.
Jane Flowers serves as casting director.
What is Family Leave about?
Per Netflix’s initial announcement, here’s what you can expect:
“The Brenners wake up to a full family body switch, they quickly realize the same thing has happened to a family on the other side of the world; they must unite with this group of strangers and determine how to undo the body switch.”
An additional synopsis provided to What’s on Netflix fleshes out more on the plot:
“The Walkers are a nuclear family of five: Mom Jess, Dad Bill, 16 year old daughter CC, 14 year old son WYATT, and 2 year old daughter Mia. But when a mysterious event occurs at the Griffith Park Planetarium, the nuclear elements split and recombine; Jen’s mind is in CC’s body (and vice versa), while Bill’s mind is in WYATT’s body (and vice versa). While CC and Wyatt try to navigate the impossibly complicated world that is adulthood (responsibilities, skills, fears, ambitions), Jen and Bill must work their way through the insanely intricate network of rites of passage (bullying, soccer games, music, parties, romance) that comes with being a teenager, while all four scramble to undo the spell that catastrophically recombined their personalities…”
The movie is based on the book Bedtime for Mommy written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. The 32-page children’s book was released in 2010.
When will production start on Netflix’s Family Leave?
Following its long development since the initial announcement, we’ve learned that the movie will begin filming in December 2022 (although earlier reporting suggested filming would get underway in October 2022). Filming will continue until March 2023.
Filming on Family Leave will be taking place in Los Angeles, California with the project also receiving a tax grant from the California Film Commission back in February 2022.
Jennifer Garner speaking about the tax credit, said, “As an actor, producer and mother, it’s impossible to overstate what shooting locally means to me and other families in this industry. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the greatest crew members of my career here in California, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with some of my home team friends on this project.”
Who are the cast members of Family Leave?
Two cast members have been confirmed thus far: Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms.
Helms is best known for his long stint on the NBC series, The Office, where he played Andy Bernard. Helms headlined Coffee & Kareem for Netflix and was featured in A Futile and Stupid Gesture.
Netflix is looking to cast a pair of twins, or sisters close enough in age who look alike to fill the roles of Ingrid and Elsa Thorsdotter. The pair are antagonists in the story as they play on the opposing soccer team to CC, and are known as “The Swedish Smashers.” Both cast members need to be around 17 years old, and it’s preferred that the actors have experience playing soccer. The characters are described as tall, but height hasn’t been mentioned as detrimental to the role. One of the last preferences is actors that can do a Swedish accent or similar European accents.
Are you looking forward to watching Family Leave on Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.