From The Da Vinci Code to Forrest Gump, The Green Mile to Cloud Atlas, Tom Hanks has tackled a wide array of adaptations of beloved books. For his next venture in bringing literature to life, he's taking on A Hologram For the King and reteaming with Cloud Atlas co-helmer, Tom Tykwer. As you can see from the first released still, this film requires nowhere near the amount of prosthetics or make-up of their last collaboration.
Reporting out of Cannes, THR shares this image, which shows a business-suited Tom Hanks looking perplexed and out of place in what appears to be a sprawling desert. In this adaptation of Dave Egger's acclaimed novel A Hologram For the King, Hanks plays Alan Clay, a miserable salesman so desperate for success that he travels to the heart of Saudi Arabia to pitch a wild idea to an affluent monarch.
Here's the official plot synopsis of the novel A Hologram For the King:
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together.
We first got word of this project back in the summer of 2013, when Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer announced their plans to adapt the novel. Tykwer wrote the adapted screenplay with plans to direct; Hanks signed on to star and also agreed to produce A Hologram for the King. The film is currently in production, and boasts a supporting cast that includes Tom Skerritt (Alien), Homeland's Sarita Choudhury, Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said), David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty), Omar Elba (Intelligence), and Dhaffer L'Abidine (Children of Men).
While the image up top is not a lot to go off of, A Hologram for the King is pretty incredible looking on paper. For one, Dave Eggers is a rightly celebrated writer, and this particular novel was a National Book Award finalist, as well as one of the New York Times Book Review's Best Books of the Year. As for Tom Tykwer, he's built a reputation for bold and enthralling filmmaking with movies like the kinetic Run Lola Run, the underappreciated but remarkable Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and the wildly ambitious and fascinating Cloud Atlas. Notably, the latter two are both adaptations. Then, add to this base one of America's most beloved movie stars of all time, and DreamWorks has a pretty incredible recipe for a devastating dramedy.
A Hologram for the King is now in production. It will open in the Netherlands on November 25th, 2015. No U.S. release date has yet been announced. Maybe December 2015, in time for Oscar consideration?