(Mike Fleming‘s not going to be up and running for a few days yet. But he confirmed this major scoop and wanted to share it with Deadline Hollywood.)
Tom Hanks must have gotten along spectacularly well with Julia Roberts on Universal’s Charlie Wilson’s War. Because he has written a new film for them to star in together. He’s also going to direct it. Hanks and Roberts will re-team in Larry Crowne, a comedy that will begin production April in Los Angeles. The financing and distribution details are still coming together, and I’ll provide those as soon I confirm how CAA has packaged it. Gary Goetzman, Hanks’s Playtone partner, is the producer.
I’m told that Hanks will play the title character, a man forced to reinvent himself and find a new career as he navigates the second act of his life. It’s a comedy, but it’s a relatable premise (especially for me). Larry Crowne is the first feature Hanks has directed since 1996’s now classic music pic That Thing You Do! He also wrote that film, and it was enough of a seminal event for Hanks and Goetzman that they named their company after the record label in the film, the one that signed the one-hit wonders.
So this ends the guessing game of which film will be next for Hanks, whose last starring role was this past summer’s Angels & Demons, as well as for Roberts, who recently completed the adaptation of the Elizabeth Gilbert memoir Eat, Pray, Love for Columbia Pictures. Their Charlie Wilson’s War,, directed by Mike Nichols and adapted from George Crile’s book, grossed $67 million domestic in 2007 for Universal, and made $119 million worldwide.
Aside from the movie, Hanks and Goetzman have a March 14 launch for The Pacific, the eagerly awaited 10-part HBO miniseries they exec produced with Steven Spielberg which is a sorta sequel to Band Of Brothers.