Sony executives said they “hit the lottery” after buying the rights for a new Tom Hanks comedy for a record amount last week. A Man Called Otto boasts several big names in front of and behind the camera. But Sony will have to wait until Christmas to see if they can cash in that winning ticket.
It’s shaping up to be a big year for Tom Hanks, or more accurately, another big year for Hanks. The two-time Oscar winner is set to star in some of 2022’s most anticipated movies. That includes Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic where he stars as The King’s controversial manager Col. Tom Parker. He’s also reuniting with the team that made Forrest Gump for the movie Here. Based on a graphic novel, Here is the story of a room and all the things that happen there for millennia. Hanks will star, and Robert Zemeckis and Eric Roth, director and scribe of the beloved 1994 classic, will direct and write.
The year of Hanks ends with A Man Called Otto, which Sony plans to release on Christmas day. Hanks stars as the eponymous Otto, a widower who rules his neighborhood like a feudal lord. His strict rules and overbearing nature drives his neighbors crazy, but he’s just as he makes them. Just as he’s about to give up on life, he makes a new friend that changes his outlook, The Hollywood Reporter summarized.
A Man Called Otto is based on the bestselling novel A Man Called Ove. Sony purchased the rights to the film last week for $60 million, a record for the European Film Market.
Marc Forster will direct.
‘Elvis’ Director Calls Tom Hanks ‘Rolls Royce of Actors’
The first trailer for Elvis dropped this week and featured our first look at Austin Butler as Elvis Presley. Butler nails The King’s swagger and swinging hips, but that wasn’t what people were talking about. Most people were more staggered by Tom Hanks‘ new look as Colonel Tom Parker. He’s practically unrecognizable underneath the makeup. It’s an impressive feat considering he’s one of the most well-known people on the planet.
Director Baz Luhrmann said he enjoys taking stars and putting them in roles people wouldn’t expect. Hanks, he said, is perfect for such a subversion because he’s so versatile. He’s “the Rolls Royce of actors,” Luhrmann told Cinemablend.
One of my great joys in life is working with well-known actors who are very well known for certain strings on their instrument. But I thrill at the idea of being useful, just supportive, in allowing — every actor always has so much more to give than you ever see from them. They always have so many more strings on their instrument than they get to play. So one of the great thrills in working with Tom, who is the Rolls Royce of actors, I mean, you know, that is a ride you want to be on. But to be around him and let him — he’ll be playing a new string on his instrument. And I think that’s a thrilling thing to see.
Elvis hits theaters on June 24.