Tom Hanks Boards Cold War Thriller, Which Steven Spielberg Might Direct

By Sean O'Connell 2014-04-21 18:50:47discussion comments
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The powerhouse duo of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks might be circling their next project together.

Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks has attached his name to an untitled Cold War thriller, which The Wrap now says Steven Spielberg is considering as a directorial project. Hanks would play American attorney James Donovan, a prominent figure recruited by the CIA to, as the trade site notes, "slip behind the Iron Curtain and negotiate the release of Gary Powers, a pilot captured when his U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia."

This, coincidentally, sounds similar to – but isn’t – a project Hanks was circling in 2012, which would have bene an adaptation of Erik Larson’s best-selling novel In the Garden of Beasts. At the time, Tom Hanks wanted fellow Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) to collaborate, but there hasn’t been moment on this project for a while, and so a collaboration with Steven Spielberg appears to be in order.

Hanks and Spielberg have done three films together -- Saving Private Ryan, which won Spielberg an Oscar; the playful Catch Me If You Can; and the underrated The Terminal. The pair also collaborated as producers on the Band of Brothers and The Pacific series for HBO. Hearing that they might get together as an actor-director combo likely has the Academy salivating… even though Oscar has been unkind to both men in recent past. Steven Spielberg couldn’t take home the Oscar for Lincoln, and Tom Hanks didn’t even get the nomination for either Captain Phillips or Saving Mr. Banks, despite critical raves.

For Spielberg, the Cold War thriller might finally clear up his jumbled schedule. He has been entertaining a number of possible directorial projects as of late. We recently reported that he was planning to reunite with his Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner for The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. He has been circling the tech-heavy sci-fi thriller Robopocalypse for some time now. And he’s floated the possibility of helming a Montezuma film next. Given the fact that few in Hollywood wield as much power as Steven Spielberg, choosing his next project should be as simple as picking the one that’s furthest along, then singing on the dotted line.

Maybe securing Tom Hanks for the lead role in this untitled project will be enough to sway Steven Spielberg into the director’s chair for this project. The Wrap reports that Matt Charman wrote the script on which the movie will be based, while Marc Platt will produce the film for DreamWorks. Until the movie gets its ducks in a row, Hanks will work on A Hologram for the King with his Cloud Atlas director Tom Tykwer, as well as The Lost Symbol, the next adaptation of a hit Dan Brown page-turner.
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