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.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer are going to turn the Dave Eggers novel A Hologram For The King into a feature. Hanks will star and the film will be directed by Tykwer, the Run Lola Run director who most recently co-helmed Cloud Atlas. Tykwer has adapted the book, which was published last year by McSweeney’s and became a National Book Award finalist. The story involves a struggling businessman who, after failing in America, heads to a rising Saudi Arabian city for a last ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and do something memorable.
The film will be produced by X Filme Creative Pool producers Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott and Tykwer, who are teamed with Playtone partners Hanks and Gary Goetzman. They don’t yet have a studio or their financing completely together yet, but CAA, which reps Hanks, Eggers and Tykwer, is getting underway with the effort to arrange financing. Given all the movies that group seeded for financing during the Cannes Film Festival, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Hanks and Tykwer bonded over the experience making Cloud Atlas, in which Hanks played several roles. Tykwer directed with Lana and Andy Wachowski. Hanks is currently starring on Broadway, playing ace crime reporter Mike McAlary in the Nora Ephron play Lucky Guy. He plays the title role in the Paul Greengrass-directed Captain …
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 Wachowski’s brother Andy and director Tom Tykwer, the trio are unusually promoting their new collaborative movie Cloud Atlas releasing October 26th. The filmmakers describe their multi-narrative adaptation of the much-lauded novel by British author David Mitchell:
Tom Hanks has become officially attached to star in Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel that consists of six interconnected stories. The Matrix helmers Andy and Lana Wachowski and Run Lola Run helmer Tom Tykwer have signed on to write and co-direct the film. Warner Bros is set to distribute the film in North America, and Focus Features International has signed on to handle international sales and distribution of the film overseas. They will sell rights at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.
Shooting on the film will begin in September. The logline: An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution. The film has been rumored for some time, with James McAvoy and Halle Berry among the actors who’ve been rumored to take part.
The film will be produced by Five Drops’ Grant Hill and Stefan Arndt, with Philip Lee exec producing.
New movies from Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, Vincent Gallo and Julian Schnabel will be slugging it out on the Lido. This year’s Venice Film Festival will take place September 1-11. Twenty two films will be competing for the Golden Lion. Among the name European and Asian directors are Germany’s Tom Tykwer and Japanese directors Takashi Miike and Anh Hung Tran. Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, was expected to be In Competition too. Venice says that one more title will be added to the line-up on September 6.
Movies screening Out of Competition include Robert Rodriquez’s Machete, Ben Affleck’s The Town and his brother Casey Affleck’s Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Still Here.
13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, Japan
Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece
Barney’s Version, Richard J. Lewis, Canada/Italy
Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky, USA
Black Venus, Abdellatif Kechiche, France
Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame, Tsui Hark, China
Happy Few, Antony Cordier, France
Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt, USA
Miral, Julian Schnabel, USA/France/Italy/Israel
Noi Credevamo, Mario Martone, Italy
Norwegian Wood, Anh Hung Tran, Japan
La Passione, Carlo Mazzacurati, Italy
La Pecora Nera, Ascanio Celestini, Italy
Post Mortem, Pablo Lerrain, Chile
Potiche, Francois Ozon, France
Promises Written in Water, Vincent Gallo, USA
Road to Nowhere, Monte Hellman, USA
A Sad Trumpet Ballad, Álex de la Iglesia, Spain
Silent Souls, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia
The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Saverio Costanzo, Italy
Somewhere, Sofia Coppola, USA
Three, Tom Tykwer, Germany