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Tom Hanks nabs rights to Erik Larson’s In The Garden Of Beasts

29 November 2011

Two time Oscar winning filmmaker Tom Hanks famed for the likes of Big, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Woody in the Toy Story trilogy has joined forces with Universal to nab the rights to to Erik Larson’s nonfiction bestseller In The Garden Of Beasts: Love, Terror And An American Family In Hitler’s Berlin.

The story follows US Ambassador William Dodd, a gentlemanly sort who reluctantly agreed to represent the States in Berlin in 1933. He had to deal with the rise of Hitler and his socialite daughter Martha, who was notorious for her string of lovers, including a Gestapo official and a Soviet spy. While the family were initially naïve about the horror building around them, they slowly became more and more aware.

This could be the perfect project for Hanks who has had successes with mild-mannered sorts and historical films.

The Devil In The White City a serial killer story also written by Larson has long been a favourite of Leonardo DiCaprio and on his wish list to get it made into a feature film.

After the disappointment of his directorial effort Larry Crowne this year, Hanks will next be seen as Thomas Schell Jr. in Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on February 3 and is currently working with Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis on sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas.

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