Homeland‘s Sarita Choudhury, Omar Elba, Tracey Fairaway, David Menkin and Tom Skerritt have joined A Hologram For The King, the Tom Tykwer- written and -directed adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that stars Tom Hanks. This is the comedic drama we broke about in June, when the project surfaced with a splash. Shooting began today in Morocco on the movie, which is a reteam of Tykwer and Hanks who did Cloud Atlas together. Hanks plays a struggling businessman who heads for a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, in a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012. The production will also shoot in Germany and the plan is to wrap in June.
EXCLUSIVE: As international buyers begin to arrive in Toronto for the festival, Lotus Entertainment has staked a big one. Lotus has come on board to handle international sales for A Hologram For The King, the adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that Tom Hanks will star in and Tom Tykwer will direct in a reteam from Cloud Atlas. Playtone and X Filme Creative Pool are producing.
Lotus will sell foreign rights here in Toronto to get the film ready for an early 2014 production start. CAA will make the domestic deal. Hanks will play a struggling businessman who heads for a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, in a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. Tykwer wrote the script. Deadline first revealed the project as it was mobilizing in June.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
If there’s one memorable takeaway this awards season, it’s the day directors Andy and Lana Wachowski came to town. During the height of their success with The Matrix franchise, which propelled the entire sci-fi genre beyond its Star Wars standards, rumors abounded about the siblings’ private lives, in particular Lana’s. But the Chicago natives arrived in Hollywood last month, ready to hug us with their new $100-million-plus epic Cloud Atlas, tri-directed with their new BFF, German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). And the press hugged back: Lana boldly discussed her decision to become transgendered, while bloggers delighted in unpretentious conversations with the trio.
An adaptation of David Mitchell’s labyrinthine 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas follows the power of karma throughout various souls and eras, from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future. While the trio assembled an all-star cast that includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugh Grant, the major studios and indie financiers balked at the risky project, which employed a plethora of production crews throughout Germany, San Francisco, Scotland, and Majorca. But the Wachowskis and Tykwer were vying for something more than a mere tentpole. Much like their celluloid forefathers Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey), Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now), and Michael Cimino (Heaven’s Gate), who were labeled crazy with their epics and are now lauded as geniuses, the trio was set on blowing up the big-screen canvas with Cloud Atlas. Time likewise may be on Cloud Atlas’ side, and the film has potential for crafts awards, too. But this is the first time — and probably last — that three directors have banded together to mount a breathless epic.
Awardsline: After Natalie Portman referred the book to you during V for Vendetta, was there any kind of bidding war? Or were your agents like, “Oh, no don’t option that!”
Andy Wachowski: No. This was right before Speed Racer so we still had some pull with Warner Bros. Joel (Silver) swept in and bought the property for Warner Bros., and I think that somebody was trying to negotiate the price down at the time, and they came in and just paid full price, so there was no real bidding war. After we broke from Joel, it was more of our project, and he let us have it.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Cloud Atlas’
We all know filmmakers will go to great lengths to publicize their movies. So The Advocate today pointed us to this recent video of a rare on-camera appearance by Lana Wachowski, who nearly a decade ago first announced her transition from Larry Wachowski. With Lana …