For Tom Hanks and filmmaker Tom Tykwer, it appears that one film adaptation of a highly-praised contemporary novel wasn’t enough: the pair have announced their intention to shoot a screen rendition of Dave Eggers’ critically lauded book A Hologram For the King. The project reunites the two Cloud Atlas alums after its release just last year (read screen Rant’s review here); Hanks will star, and Tykwer will direct.
Tykwer has reportedly also scripted the project. He’ll also produce, along with fellow X Filme Creative Pool producers Stefan Arndt and Uwe Schott, who will be working with Hanks’ own production company, Playtone. At present, no start dates have been given on production and no other talent has been brought on board to star alongside Hanks. Funding also has yet to be secured, though the quartet appear to be confident that they’ll receive the backing that they need to move forward.
What may prove to be a bigger challenge is working around Hanks’ schedule. He’s on Broadway currently, starring in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy; he’s also the lead in Paul Greengrass’ impending October release, Captain Phillips- which got its first trailer just last month- and John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks, where he’ll play Walt Disney himself. There’s also talk of Hanks returning for a fourth Toy Story installment, and he may be taking a trip back to Nazi Germany in In the Garden of Beasts.
That’s a full plate. Fortunately, the intangible nature of Toy Story 4 and In the Garden of Beasts give him plenty of wiggle room to make A Hologram For the King with Tykwer.
For those not familiar with the novel, here’s the official synopsis:
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.
Hanks, the prototypical nice guy/everyman, feels like a nearly perfect fit here; the novel balances quirky characters and moments against its examination of social issues facing America and the world today, something that Hanks should be able to confront quite handily using his skill set as an actor. It’s probably not an accident that he and Tykwer alighted on this story, given the way that Eggers’ prose blends its protagonist’s desperate struggle to succeed in a bleak and unforgiving world- it’s not quite Cloud Atlas in terms of ambition and scale, but they share more in common than meets the eye on the surface.
Sounds like a good match so far. In the meantime, the novel is very much worth checking out for readers who haven’t already. What do you think, Screen Ranters? Does A Hologram For the King sound like a production worthy of Hanks’ and Tykwer’s attention?
We’ll keep you updated on the progress of A Hologram For the King as more information becomes available.