Three years after his Lincoln became a critical and commercial hit, legendary director Steven Spielberg is back to tell another story of American history with his latest film, Bridge of Spies. Set during the midst of the Cold War, it is based on the true story of U.S. attorney James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who is tasked with negotiating the release of a captured American U-2 pilot as tensions between America and Russia rage on.
Given the pedigree of those involved (not to mention, the film’s awards season-friendly release date), Bridge of Spies (shot under the working name St. James Place) is seen by more than a few cinephiles as a project that has plenty of awards potential. Those inclinations are only going to grow stronger with the release of the film’s official synopsis, which teases a story full of excitement and drama.
You can read the official release from DreamWorks below:
A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, ‘Bridge of Spies’ tells the story of James Donovan (Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.
In addition to being the new Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies is sure to generate interest due to the Coen brothers-penned screenplay. Reaction to the scripts the Coens have written, but not also directed, is historically mixed (see last year’s Unbroken, for instance). Still, their involvement is still worth getting excited about. The duo has won two Academy Awards for their script work (Fargo and No Country for Old Men) to go with several other accolades, so they clearly know how to tell a captivating story.
Bridge of Spies also serves a reunion for Spielberg and Hanks, as this marks the fourth time the Oscar-winning actor will work with the director. Unfortunately, Spielberg’s latest will not feature contributions by the iconic composer John Williams, who was forced to pass on the gig due to a minor health issue – one which has now been treated (Williams is, however, now confirmed to score Spielberg’s 2016 release, The BFG). In Williams’ place will be 12-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman.
Spielberg and Williams are practically synonymous with each other; this is the first time in 30 years their collaboration won’t be renewed. Many a movie fans may be disappointed the two aren’t working together for Bridge of Spies, but Newman (a 12-time Oscar-nominee who scored such films as The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, and Finding Nemo) is a more-than-capable composer who should be able to craft some great music for the film.
That being said, only time will tell if Bridge of Spies ends up being the next great Spielberg historical drama (a la Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, etc.).
Bridge of Spies will be in theaters October 16, 2015.