Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Twelve days before the shoot, none of the major roles in The Battle of Shaker Heights have been cast. The production can't begin making a shooting schedule until they know whether or not Shia LaBeouf will take the lead role. Miramax makes an offer to Jane Kaczmarek, despite the objections of directors Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin. Chris Moore explains to the directors that this is how Hollywood filmmaking works. Ben Affleck attends a script meeting. The production gets word that LaBeouf has agreed to star. LaBeouf, who doesn't yet have his driver's license, has to learn to drive a Jeep for the film. William Sadler and Gary Cole read for the part of Abe, Kelly's father. Everyone seems to like Cole except for Potelle. Kaczmarek passes, and Kathleen Quinlan (the directors' first choice), Elden Henson, and Amy Smart are quickly cast, filling all the major roles except Abe. The actors do a table read, and screenwriter Erica Beeney is pleased to hear her words brought to life. Cole passes on the role of Abe. Miramax wants a bigger name than Sadler, so the role is offered to Christopher McDonald, who agrees to take the role the day before shooting is scheduled to start. During a location scout, the production has difficulty finding a gas station at which to shoot one scene. Jeff Balis suggests changing it to a vacant lot, and the directors agree. Beeney is annoyed to learn later that a change was made without her input.