EXCLUSIVE: Taking a high-profile picture off the Berlin marketplace table, Sony Pictures is acquiring worldwide rights to Greyhound, a World War II drama that Tom Hanks scripted and will star in, with Get Low helmer Aaron Schneider directing. Hanks’ Playtone partner Gary Goetzman will produce.
Hanks, perhaps the season’s most glaring Oscar snub for his title character work in the Clint Eastwood-directed Sully, plays Commander George Krause. That puts him in charge of a ship again, just as he was in Captain Phillips. But this is a different mission. Krause is a career Navy officer finally given command of a Navy destroyer where, along with the enemy he fights his self-doubts and personal demons to prove he belongs. The title comes from the battleship. Deadline revealed last September that Hanks and Schneider were plotting this voyage.
This one was put together and is fully financed by FilmNation with a budget in the $30 million range. Hanks adapted the script from The Good Shepherd, a novel by C.S. Forester, the English author whose works also included the Horatio Hornblower series as well as The African Queen, adapted into the 1951 John Huston-directed film with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions president Steven Bersch is brokering the deal with CAA and FilmNation. They are still tying down loose ends, but this film is on course to set sail for a May production start, giving Sony a big movie for its 2018 release calendar.
Hanks is repped by CAA and so is Schneider. Schneider is managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.