Michel Hazanavicius to Direct Tom Hanks 'In The Garden of Beasts'
by Ben Pearson
September 14, 2012
Even before The Artist won Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, we reported that director Michel Hazanavicius had signed on to direct a remake of The Search, a film that took place in the aftermath of WWII. Nothing has come of that project yet, but now the French director could tackle a film that takes place just before WWII, as Deadline reports he's in talks to direct In The Garden of Beasts, which has Tom Hanks attached to produce and star as the first American ambassador to Hitler's Germany. Natalie Portman is also reportedly being considered to play Hanks' daughter. Sounds great to us. More below!
Based on Erik Larson's nonfiction book, the story follows Chicago professor William Dodd (Hanks), who takes his family to Germany when he becomes the first American ambassador there under Hitler's rule. While his daughter (the part earmarked for Portman) becomes enamored with Berlin, having affairs with German soldiers, Dodd slowly begins to realize the horrors that Hitler has in store.
Anyone who has followed Hanks' career knows the guy has a total hard-on for WWII, producing both "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" aside from his iconic performance in Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. It's cool that he's found another angle to approach a subject for which he clearly has passion, and this is the second WWII-related project in two days from an A-list star that provides a fresh take on the familiar wartime subject matter, the other being IBM and the Holocaust from Brad Pitt.
As for Hazanavicius, it doesn't matter at this point which project he decides to tackle first, we just want to see a follow-up from the charismatic Oscar winner sometime soon. Will it be In The Garden of Beasts? With Hanks attached, we'd like to think it's an easy greenlight for the studio, considering that Hazanavicius' Oscar win should outweigh Hanks' recent disappointment in Larry Crowne. He'll be writing alongside an as-yet-unnamed writer in addition to his directing duties. Interested?