Tom Hanks And Tom Tykwer Create A Hologram For The King


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.