Universal and Tom Hanks‘s production company Playtone have optioned the book In The Garden of Beasts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Hanks is also supposedly eyeing a lead role in the film. Based on the Erik Larson novel, the non-fiction novel tells the story of William Dodd, an American Embassador in 1930′s Germany who grows to see the rising evil around him.
This wouldn’t be the star’s first turn around World War II period filmmaking, as Hanks has appeared in Steven Spielberg‘s Saving Private Ryan, and was a producer and narrator for the HBO miniseries The Pacific, and producer and director on Band of Brothers. There’s also his (usually forgotten) turn in 1986′s Every Time We Say Goodbye, where he plays an injured pilot in World War II.
This though sounds like a role tailor-made for the actor. It has an old school Hollywood flavor: he would play a man who grows to become indignant and self-righteous, while also probably trying to stop as much as he can from a position that would allow little traction. The book also details Dodd’s daughter, who was a socialite that carried out affairs with a Gestapo and Russian spy. Father issues, ahoy. You get a good director, and it seems Hanks would have a lock on a best actor nominee whenever the film comes out.
Can you think of anyone else who could be better for the role?