EXCLUSIVE: HBO and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are in early talks to acquire the Berlin Noir novel series by Philip Kerr. The plan is to develop this as a series that focuses on the police detective character Bernie Gunther in 1930s Germany, with the political climate and run-up to WWII and then the Cold War as the backdrop. Deal isn’t done yet, but I’m told that it will close. Numerous studios and producers pursued the property as a feature, but the author decided to go for a prestige series. He’s gone through enough development hell on the feature front on past books and HBO can point to enough successes like Game of Thrones to show the merits of an episodic adaptation of novels with storylines that span around 20 years. Playtone just produced the critically lauded Jay Roach-directed Sarah Palin pic Game Change, and after producing with Jann Wenner the 25th Anniversary of the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, Playtone is producing each annual induction ceremony that will air on HBO. CAA repped Kerr in the book deal.