Ever wonder what a film spawned from the respective brains of Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers might look like? The myriad possibilities alone are enough to elicit shrieks or applause, given your taste, but a union between the prolific filmmakers may actually be in the works, as The Wrap reports that sources have confirmed that Joel and Ethan Coen are being tapped to assist on the screenplay for what may Spielberg’s next feature – an as of yet untitled Cold War thriller earmarked as a starring vehicle for Tom Hanks. We’d previously brought you news the project was in the works, but it’s now looking like production may get rolling this September.
Coincidentally, as the cinematic sensibilities of Spielberg and the Coens may seem opposing, the seismic superstar in Hanks has worked gamely in both camps – he earned an Oscar nomination for Spielberg’s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan and went wonky in The Ladykillers for the brothers Coen.
The film finds Hanks playing real-life power attorney James Donovan, who was courted by the American military in the height of the Cold War to slip through the Iron Curtain in an effort to release a captured pilot whose plane was shot down over Russia. Certainly sounds like a promising idea based on the log line. Matt Charman, who co-wrote the script for The Weinstein Company’s upcoming awards bid Suite Française (a period piece starring Michelle Williams), initially wrote the screenplay. It looks like Joel and Ethan Coen are being brought aboard to punch it up – it will remain to be seen exactly what credit they receive the end of the day.
Still it makes for an interesting pairing considering Spielberg is arguably the most bankable filmmaker of all time and the Coens, are, well, not. It’s certainly not out of practice for seasoned writers to come aboard projects this late into the game. The Coen Brothers, both of whom won Academy Awards for writing Fargo and No Country For Old Men, also came aboard to re-write the screenplay to Angelina Jolie’s Christmas-time entry Unbroken. The next project the brothers will direct looks to be the long-gestating film Hail Caeser, a 1950s Hollywood satire starring George Clooney.
If this, indeed, does turn out to be Spielberg’s next feature behind the camera, it will be his first since earning an Oscar nomination for 2012’s acclaimed historical biography Lincoln. However, until its ready to roll, it may be impossible to tell for a filmmaker who always seems to have an endless stream of projects in development. He is also attached to possibly film an adaptation of Roald Dahl novel The BFG, among others. Meanwhile, Hanks, who had an impressive 2013 with Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks will next appear on screen in A Hologram for the King, a drama directed by one-third of his Cloud Atlas team, Tom Twyker.