Make a hit movie, win many Academy awards, and you'll have your pick of the litter regarding future projects. That's what Michel Hazanavicius, writer/director of the Best Picture winner The Artist is up to at the moment. He's currently negotiating to helm In the Garden of Beasts, a pre-WII drama that will star Tom Hanks, Deadline reports.
Hanks is slated to play Wiliam Dodd, an American ambassador living with his family in Germany during the 1930's. As his family embraces Berlin as their home, Dodd receives reports about growing violence against Jews and rumblings about Hitler's plans of genocide. Natalie Portman, a third Oscar winner of this trio, is in talks to play Dodd's daughter who is engaging in several affairs with members of the Third Reich.
Hanks will also produce along with Universal, and this project is being considered a majority priority by the studio, entering the pre-production stage. Hazanavicius has apparently began adapting the screenplay from Erik Larson's novel, and they're aiming to have the film completed by 2014.
Given the subject matter (old hat for Hanks) and the level of talent Universal is pursuing here, it's clear they're going for the gusto with an eye at the 2014 award season. Hanks is a once in a generation gifted actor, who is already receiving pre-Oscar buzz for his multiple roles in Cloud Atlas. Pairing him with Natalie Portman, and a filmmaker who's currently on fire in the movie industry is setting the bar very high and beyond with In the Garden of Beasts.
If you haven't seen The Artist, check it out soon. It was a delightful movie that really deserved all the recognition it received. Does this movie interest you?