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Tom Hanks & Tom Tykwer Reteaming to Adapt a Dave Eggers Novel

by
June 12, 2013
Source: Variety

Tom Hanks / Hologram For the King

Another adaptation by a talented team. Variety is reporting on a project developing that has Tom Tykwer, the German filmmaker behind half of the Cloud Atlas movie as well as Run Lola Run and Perfume, attached to direct an adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel A Hologram for the King, published last year. In addition to that Tom, another Tom from Cloud Atlas is in the mix - Tom Hanks, set to star in the film and produce with Gary Goetzman from his company Playtone. X Filme Creative Pool producers Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott & Tykwer are also developing. This is a very talented group, just wait until you hear what the book is about.

For those who aren't familiar, here's a full synopsis from Google Books for Eggers' A Hologram for the King:

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

However, this quote from The Philadelphia Inquirer might give us a better idea of what's going on in this novel and why there's a relevant and intirguing story to be told. Thanks to SlashFilm for the tip on this one.

"A Hologram for the King is not only a portrait of a man in midlife trying desperately to salvage his future. The book is emblematic of what Eggers sees as wrong in America today: the collapse of homegrown industry, the outsourcing of labor, a loss of confidence, soured ideals... But [it] isn’t a bummer—or if it is, it’s a bummer beautifully enlivened by oddball encounters and oddball characters, by stranger-in-a-strange-land episodes."

The Variety news story doesn't say much else about the adaptation besides that talent agency CAA, which reps Hanks and Tykwer, is currently working on financing for the project. That could take a while to come together if this is deemed too challenging following in the footsteps of Cloud Atlas, but with Tom Hanks attached and a seemingly straightforward narrative set in Saudi Arabia, it might not be too hard of a sell. The story based on the descriptions seems like it could make for an inspiring film, but I haven't read the book yet. I hope it doesn't take too long for funding to come together, and we'll be sure to let you know if we hear anything on this project. If you're interested in the story already, pick up the novel on Kindle for $9.99.

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  • DAVIDPD
    Oh, that sounds good.
  • JPCaetano
    What an astonishing coincidence! I finished reading this book a few minutes ago! The book is very much about what the main character does as he waits for the saudi king to show up to see the hologram presentation he and three other young colleagues have to give. The interactions he has with other characters, both from SA and other foreigners travelling there, serve to illustrate almost a lament for where America is today in a global economic context. Hanks would be great as the main character. The story is also simple enough that you could end up seeing most of the scenes from the book in the film. But, of course, that depends on the budget. So I wish Tykwer and Hanks the best of luck.

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