For most of his storied career, Steven Spielberg has turn historical tales into cinematic masterworks, most of them focusing on the era during or before World War II. With Munich being an exception, Spielberg has had a thing for the classics, and he's done a great service to his chosen subjects in films like Lincoln, War Horse, and Saving Private Ryan. But apparently his success on Bridge Of Spies has the famed director looking to become more modern, as he's currently eyeing a biopic on Walter Cronkite and his relationship with the Vietnam War.
Deadline broke the news, which specified that Spielberg's Bridge Of Spies co-writer, Matt Charman, had pitched the project to him during their press duties on said collaboration. Charman is expected to be working on a script as we speak, with Steven Spielberg keeping his options open to direct. Considering the subject matter, and provided his schedule allows, we wouldn't be surprised if he directed the film, which is rumored to be about the role that Walter Cronkite and CBS News played in turning the tide of public opinion against the controversial conflict.
With a legacy as rich and respected as Cronkite's, we're surprised that the endeavor of a biopic involving his life and times hasn't already been attempted. Though, to be fair, if there was any director who would be perfect to break that barrier, it would be Steven Spielberg. Much like Bridge Of Spies, the as-of-yet untitled Walter Cronkite project looks to focus more on a specific instance of interest in the man's life, rather than telling his story cradle to grave.
Of course, with any biopic, there's the extremely important question of who's going to play the subject at hand. Thankfully, with Steven Spielberg's pattern of behavior, and after comparing their likenesses in the photo below, we have a winner. The Walter Cronkite story looks like a job for Academy Award winner, and fellow American treasure himself, Tom Hanks!
Considering Hanks' extensive resume with, and without, Steven Spielberg in his corner, to not consider him heavily for the role of the iconic news anchor is a missed opportunity. With a striking likeness, as well as his age being in the same ballpark as Walter Cronkite's during the Vietnam War, there's a great fit here. Not to mention, Tom Hanks more than definitely has the gravitas that Cronkite possessed at the height of his journalistic powers. You don't split up a team if they work wonderfully, and with Hanks, Spielberg, and Matt Charman's work together on Bridge Of Spies being of the caliber that it was, it's a no-brainer.
For now, we'll have to wait for Matt Charman's draft of the script to hit Steven Spielberg's eyes, before any possible drafting of Tom Hanks to play the role of Walter Cronkite. In these early days, the best we can do is see Steven Spielberg at work again with The BFG this July, while Tom Hanks has Sully, Inferno, and The Circle all lined up for this fall. When any new details become available, you'll be the first to know, and that's the way it is.