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Just last month, Fox officially became part of the Mickey Mouse Club in a monumental $71.3 billion dollar merger that is about to change the landscape of Hollywood. Among the many coming shifts to be made, (including some upcoming release date changes) Disney decided to retire the Fox 2000 label. Now a project starring the studio’s Woody and Saving Mr. Banks’ Walt Disney will be the first to be given away.
Tom Hanks’ News of the World will move to Universal now that Fox 2000, a label that’s produced hits including The Fault In Our Stars, Life of Pi and The Heat, has been dropped in light of the Disney/Fox merger. The project will bring Captain Phillips’ director Paul Greengrass back together with Hanks, who is set to star and produce the Civil War-set novel adaptation.
Based on the 2016 book of the same name by Paulette Jiles, News of the World is a fictional drama about a newscaster named Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) who travels throughout Texas to recite newspapers to the illiterate just as the Civil War has ended. Along the way, he is tasked with handing over a 10-year-old girl named Johanna to her aunt and uncle, following the murder or her family by a band of Kiowa raiders.
Kidd is met with a predicament when he must choose between leaving her to a family she doesn’t remember and thinks of her as a burden, or defy his responsibility. The script for News of the World was penned by Luke Davies, who has also adapted Lion and Beautiful Boy from novels, per Deadline.
The drama certainly looks like it could earn award recognition potential through Universal considering the track record of the writer, who was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Lion. 2013’s Captain Phillips was also nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and Tom Hanks is a two-time Oscar winner out of five nominations.
Tom Hanks previously worked with Fox 2000 for the also critically-acclaimed Steven Spielberg-helmed Bridge of Spies, though News of the World is being produced in the midst of a giant shift for the Disney and Fox studios/ Luckily, the film found a new home. While Disney is committed to helping move along Fox 2000 films already in production through the indie label, other titles in the works will be left to be hopefully picked up by a neighboring studio.
News of the World certainly looks like an interesting role for Tom Hanks to take on, and from impressive filmmakers at the helm to boot. Before Hanks takes on Kidd, he will star as the voice of Woody once again for Toy Story 4 this summer, television personality Mr. Rogers in biopic It’s a Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood this fall, World War II drama Greyhound in summer 2020 and sci-fi robot film BIOS in fall 2020.