Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis Circling “Forrest Gump”-“Cast Away” Reunion in “News of the World”


Tom Hanks has made three pretty good, fairly successful films with director Robert Zemeckis: “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” and “Polar Express.” (This is called an understatement– they were HUGE.)

Now I’m told Zemeckis is circling (and may have signed) for Hanks’s latest project, “News of the World.”

The screenplay is from Luke Davies, who wrote the great (and last Weinstein hit) “Lion” based on Paulette Gilles’s book. Fox 2000 is the studio home for this idea.

Hanks would play a late 1870s sort of town crier who goes from Western locale to locale spreading news of the passing of the 15th amendment (voting rights– as it was then, for men only, but of all colors and races). Woven into this story, his character is transporting a 10 year old girl to her aunt and uncle after her parents are killed by American Indians. (If they don’t have the girl yet, I’d suggest Alyvia Alyn Lind if she’s not already booked.)

Hanks just starred in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” as Ben Bradlee, but for some reason he bailed on the PR and didn’t get an Oscar nomination. His work was A plus, and he is in need of a third Oscar after killing it in movie after movie (like “Bridge of Spies”). Maybe this is the one. He and Zemeckis make magic together.

Sounds like this new character is a bit of a gossip columnist– Tom, you can call me for pointers!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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