Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have worked together four times already, but it looks as though fifth’s the charm for the director/actor pair. Spielberg and Hanks first collaborated on the Oscar-winning WWII film Saving Private Ryan in the late 1990s, before reuniting a few years later for the true story-based con artist drama, Catch Me If You Can. The two collaborated yet again a year after that on the comedy The Terminal, but didn’t work together again until a decade after that on another true story-inspired historical drama, in 2015’s Bridge of Spies (though Hanks and Spielberg were co-producers on the 2010 WWII miniseries, The Pacific).
Spielberg is currently working on his adaptation of the best-selling sci-fi novel Ready Player One for a 2018 theatrical release date, with a fifth Indiana Jones movie scheduled for a 2019 release, waiting in the wings for the director. The filmmaker also has another true story-based historical drama that he intends to make along with those two big-budget, tentpole offerings (namely, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara), but his new collaboration with Hanks – titled The Post – may begin production before the latter does.
Deadline is reporting that Spielberg has agreed to direct The Post, with Hanks starring alongside no less than fellow Oscar-winner and first time Hanks collaborator, Meryl Streep. The film is based on a spec script by Liz Hannah (one picked up by powerhouse producer Amy Pascal last fall) that dramatizes The Washington Post‘s investigation of and role in exposing the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s. Hanks will play the Post‘s editor at the time, Ben Bradlee, while Streep will play the publisher behind the report, Kay Graham.
Spielberg’s dramatic offerings have become more overtly political in recent years and The Post certainly doesn’t buck that trend. The story of corrupt government activities being exposed by the press naturally carries timely overtones, given the current not-so-friendly state of things between the Trump administration and the U.S. press (including, of course, The Washington Post). For related reasons, it’s expected that The Post will be fast-tracked and could wind up becoming Spielberg’s next directorial effort, before he turns his attention to either Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and/or the fifth Indiana Jones films.
The majority of historical dramas that Spielberg has made over the course of his career have been critical darlings and that remained the case with his last two such offerings; Lincoln and Bridge of Spies, both of which were Oscar-winners. With the legendary filmmaker collaborating alongside his trusted leading man in Hanks and his fellow Hollywood icon Streep on the project, The Post is already positioned to become another awards season heavyweight from Spielberg – in addition to yet another film wherein the director says something meaningful about the present, through the lens of a cinematic history lesson.
We’ll bring you more details on The Post as they become available.