If you were into Cloud Atlas, maybe you’ll be into this bit of news. Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer are getting back together for an adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel A Hologram For The King.
Tykwer is directing and Hanks will star in the film version of A Hologram For The King. The book follows businessman Alan Clay living in a Saudi Arabian city who attempts to avoid foreclosure and pay his daughter’s college tuition. The New York Times referred to the book as a “globalized Death of a Salesman,” so that ought to give us some idea of what to expect. Not that Eggers is quite Arthur Miller.
Hanks and his company Playtone are producing A Hologram For The King. Tykwer has also had a hand in the script, and I would not be surprised if we heard that Dave Eggers did too. Eggers has a history in Hollywood, writing Where The Wild Things Are for Spike Jonze, and most recently the story for the Matt Damon hydrofracking drama Promised Land – that one was also about a salesman. Do you sense a pattern?
Now, I’m not a big Dave Eggers fan. Eggers has always seemed like a poor man’s David Foster Wallace to me. His breakthrough book A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius only solidified for me what is wrong with many Gen-X authors – narcissistic self-obsession and a belief that they are far cleverer than they actually are. A Hologram For The King has been described as Eggers’ views on what’s wrong with America today, including the recession and the collapse of American industry. Is that really something that a major Hollywood star can address with any kind of understanding or complexity? I’m not so certain.
No word yet on when A Hologram For The King will start shooting, but we’ll keep our eyes open.