Back to the Seas – Tom Hanks to Write and Potentially Star in WWII Naval Drama ‘Greyhound’

According to recent film news and fan speculation, it seems that actor Tom Hanks may once again be literally and figuratively helming a huge vehicle. In what seems to be a similar situation to Matt Damon’s starring role in his Good Will Hunting project, it seems like the Hollywood leading man and everyone’s favourite actor may be starring himself in his World War II Naval Drama Greyhound, from a script that he himself penned. Aaron Schneider, from Get Low fame, is also attached to direct.

The 60-year-old actor is reportedly keen to star in the project, which he is also producing through his Playtone company. According to Deadline, Playtone Co-Founder and Hanks’ business partner Gary Goetzman is set to produce the project, which tells the story of a career officer who is given control of a Navy destroyer called Greyhound during the Second World War. Not only does the character have to deal with his enemies, but he also has to battle against his own personal demons and feelings of self-doubt.

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This sounds like the perfect fit for Hanks, who has portrayed a whole range of emotionally complex leaders throughout his career, in everything from the war hardened Captain John Miller in the World War Two epic Saving Private Ryan, to the neurotic and paranoid Woody doll in Pixar’s Toy Story series. It was only in 2013 when audiences last saw Hanks portraying a sea captain, in the film Captain Phillips. This film was inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk Alabama Hijacking, an incident during which merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips and his unarmed container vessel were taken hostage by a group of Somalian pirates in the Indian ocean.

Greyhound won’t be the first time that Hanks has drifted behind the camera and taken on a writing or directorial role. In 2011 Hanks wrote the script for the romantic comedy Larry Crowne with Nia Vardalos, in addition to directing and starring. He also wrote the screenplay and directed 1996’s That Thing You Do!

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FilmNation are in discussions with Playtone Pictures about financing the movie, which has a budget of around $35 million. Playtone have famously produced a number of other Tom Hanks vehicles, including Larry Crowne, Polar Express, Cast Away and Charlie Wilson’s War.

This year sees the release of Hanks’ newest feature, with him once again back in the captain’s chair, as an airline pilot in biographical drama Sully. Directed by Clint Eastwood, The film tells the real story of the titular pilot who managed to glide his plane along the Hudson River and save all of the 155 crew and passengers on board, and the backlash Sully received afterwards when the incident was deemed a pilot error and his career tarnished. Watch the trailer for that below.

Sully will be released in UK cinemas on the 2nd December 2016.