Having already acted as hard as his wigs, dentures and sundry other facial prosthetics would allow in the big screen version of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Tom Hanks is to reteam with one of that film’s three directors for a cinematic adaptation of Dave Eggers’ National Book Award nominated novel A Hologram For The King. That director, Tom Tykwer – whose CV also includes the cultishly adored Run Lola Run and his nutzoid, go-for-broke adaptation of Patrick Süskind’s Perfume – has already written a script based on Eggers’ book and it now appears to be a simple case of securing funding for a prestigious literary adaptation starring one of the most popular movie stars on the planet, so shooting should be underway by the time you read this.
If (‘if’) shooting does go ahead, Hanks would presumably be able to spend considerably less time in make-up than he did for Cloud Atlas, with Eggers’ fifty-something sad-sack American protagonist who ventures to Saudi Arabia and quickly gets in over his head seemingly a natural fit for the star of Forrest Gump, but given that his tenure in Cloud Atlas included turns – in Tykwer’s sections alone – as a suspicious Scottish hotel clerk, a corn-rowed and goateed Irish gangster and a post-apocalyptic tribesman, he could just as easily be playing a Saudi prince.
This will be the first entry in Eggers’ bibliography to be adapted for the cinema, though Eggers has screenwriting credits on Sam Mendes’ Away We Go, Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land and, most notably, an adaptation of his own, expanding Maurice Sendak’s forty page picture book Where The Wild Things Are into a 105 minute monster therapy session for director Spike Jonze and even writing a novel based on that adaptation, 2009’s The Wild Things. Interestingly, Jonze’s film was also produced by Tom Hanks and his producing partner Gary Goetzman, so now the big question is just what dirt Eggers has on Hanks to so consistently be able to tap him for cash.