It’s been quite some time since we first saw Tom Hanks lead a group of soldiers on an emotionally gripping journey through Nazi-occupied France in Saving Private Ryan, and frankly it’s one of those rare films who’s haunting images still impact me today. Well, according to THR, Hanks and Gary Goetzman, along with the pair’s Playtone production company, will be teaming up with Universal to produce the pre-WWII drama, In the Garden of Beasts.
Hanks will also possibly be starring in the adaptation of Erik Larson’s non-fiction novel, which would mean a welcomed return for the star to the tradegic era of Hitler and the Nazis, as well as yet another return to historical dramas. With Hanks producing television mini-series such as The Pacific, Band Of Brothers, and John Adams and also starring in Charlie Wilson’s War, it’s safe to say that the star is quite the history buff.
Of course with a main focus on the early days of Nazi Germany before WWII, it seems In the Garden of Beasts may be more of a dramatic character piece and less explosive battle scenes, which would mean a star like Hanks would definitely provide the dramatic punch needed to bring an already captivating plot to sophisticated heights.
Here’s the official synopsis of In the Garden of Beasts:
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha… Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance–and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
Those of you familiar with Larson’s novels may notice that he’s also the author of The Devil In The White City, a book also getting the film treatment with another notable actor/producer at the helm- Leonardo Di Caprio. So with a devoted fan-base and large popularity, In the Garden Of Beasts could no doubt use a big star like Hanks to give it a well-needed dramatic, and respectable, treatment.
Hanks has recently been working on the Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas and Paul Greengrass’ A Captain’s Duty, with the latter being Hanks’ next appearance, set to begin shooting in February 2012. This may actually provide with a big enough window in Hanks’ schedule, making the chances for him to star in the film pretty good. Only time will tell, though, once more announcements start to circulate, but until then keep your eyes peeled because we’ll keep you posted with each update.