In the tradition of E.T. and Benjamin Button, a new bit of movie magic is about to be sprinkled on an American family.
When The Odd Life of Timothy Green opens in August 2012, audiences will meet Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), a couple who have reached a point of despair: They can’t conceive. During a wine-fueled night, the Greens dream up their ideal offspring. He would score a winning goal, just once. He’d be honest to a fault. “Picasso with a pencil,” Cindy wishes.
Soon, a 10-year-old arrives at their doorstep, claiming the Greens as his own.
“He’s a boy with the qualities that his parents hope for,” says director Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life), but “those qualities manifest in ways they never could have imagined.”
Disney is keeping the boy’s origin under wraps, but the Greens “get nothing more, nothing less” than what they wished for, Garner reveals. “He doesn’t have any emotional memories. He’s completely naïve to the way the world works … someone who’s honest to a fault is called honest to a fault for a reason.”
Garner understands her character’s yearning. “There’s no deeper want for a woman” than to be a mother, says the Hollywood mom, whose two young daughters visited the Georgia set daily in late winter with husband Ben Affleck.
In the film, the Greens must quickly adjust to parenting. It was Hedges’ experience with two teen sons that inspired him to adapt the story by producer Ahmet Zappa for the screen. “I wanted to make a film about what it means to be a parent in the 21st century,” he says.
Timothy Green puts the title role spotlight on young actor C.J. Adams, whom Hedges cast in 2007’s Dan in Real Life. And Edgerton is set to have a blockbuster 2012: He soon enters F. Scott Fitzgerald territory as Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Next year, “Joel Edgerton is an actor who everyone is going to be talking about,” Hedges says.
But in the world of Timothy Green, a year’s time is all too precious. The new family is “acutely aware of the passing of time,” Hedges says ominously. “We all only get our children for a very short period of time.”