Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass will reunite for the upcoming drama News of the World. The Oscar-winning actor and Oscar-nominated director have not worked together since 2013’s Captain Phillips - the true story turned crime-thriller that garnered both Hanks and Greengrass substantial acclaim and brought in six nominations at the 2013 Academy Awards.
Since that time, Hanks and Greengrass have continued to keep themselves busy, with Hanks recently putting in his final days as the voice of Sheriff Woody in Pixar’s hotly anticipated Toy Story 4, as well as finishing up work as Fred Rogers in the Mr. Rogers biopic, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Greengrass, meanwhile, is coming off writing and directing duties on last year’s Netflix drama, 22 July, which tells the story of Norway’s worst terrorist act, as committed by Anders Behring Breivik.
Information on Hanks and Greengrass pairing up for News of the World arrives via THR. Though the duo aren’t 100% confirmed (Greengrass is still in negotiations), as of this writing, Hanks is set to play Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a newscaster who travels through post-Civil War Texas in order to read news to the information deprived locals. The script for News of the World is adapted from Paulette Jiles’ 2016 best-selling novel of the same name.
As News of the World’s story expands, we discover that Kidd (Hanks) is a widower who is something of an absentee father to his own grown daughter. During his travels he encounters a 10-year old girl, whose parents were murdered and who has since been living with the Kiowa indigenous Nation. Kidd is then tasked with taking the young girl on a journey to join her extended family, but as the two make their way through a landscape that involves pursuit by a dangerous gang, Kidd and the girl develop a sort of father/daughter bond. Similarly-themed tales have come and gone over the years, with more notable ones such as 2010’s True Grit finding major success at both the box office and among notable awards bodies.
At present time, this sounds like just the sort of film that Hanks can excel at. Though Greengrass’ directorial style is often paired with high-octane thrillers, his ability to inject real emotion into his stories has proven successful time and again. And, as Captain Phillips proved, when Hanks and Greengrass team up, the pair’s ability to incorporate empathy and edge of the seat thrills can be spectacular. With News of the World already a smash success in the literary realm, this is the kind of project that Hanks and Greengrass could very well elevate to box office success and big awards season recognition.