After his awards circuit one-two punch of playing Walt Disney in John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks and playing the courageous title character in the Paul Greengrass piracy thriller Captain Phillips, Oscar winner Tom Hanks is stepping away from true-life dramas for his next project, Tom Tykwer’s Dave Eggers adaptation, A Hologram for the King.
Above, the first image for the film, unveiled exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter during Cannes, finds Hanks looking a little worse for wear in the Saudi Arabian desert. Calling him a fish out of water doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The comedic drama centers on a struggling, washed-up American salesman (Hanks) who, desperate to pay off debts and support his family, travels to Saudi Arabia in hopes of securing a massive IT contract for a new complex being constructed in the middle of the desert. In addition to Hanks, who previously teamed with Tykwer for the sprawling sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas, A Hologram for the King will star Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Omar Elba (Intelligence), Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said), David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Skerritt (Ted).
Eggers is one of the most talented writers working today. His fictionalized auto-biography, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is considered a modern classic, and he has turned out some other terrific works, including Zeitoun, You Shall Know Our Velocity! and The Circle. He’s also credited with the screenplays for romantic drama Away We Go and Spike Jonze’s Maurice Sendak adaptation Where the Wild Things Are. I’m certainly excited to see A Hologram for the King; cast and director aside, it will be the first film adaptation of one of Eggers’ novels.
Tykwer adapted the book into a screenplay, but apparently Eggers was involved in the writing of the film, too. If A Hologram for the King can preserve the complex and darkly comic soul of its source material, it will be one of the must-see films of next year.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter