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Director Joe Wright (The Darkest Hour) is in final talks to helm an adaptation of Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts for StudioCanal and Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Larson’s nonfiction best-seller was earlier optioned for Hanks and Gary Goetzman to produce via the duo’s Playtone banner. Hanks has been eyeing the project as a possible starring vehicle, though there’s no word yet on a role.
The book tells the true tale of William Dodd, the reluctant and mild-mannered U.S. ambassador to Germany in 1933, and his daughter Martha, a vivacious socialite who had romantic affairs with a Gestapo official and a Soviet spy. Dodd and his family at first naively navigated life in Nazi Germany (Dodd’s daughter was excited when Adolf Hitler kissed her hand), but they slowly gained awareness of the mounting brutality around them.
Wright, who is also known for his adaptations of Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina, saw his Darkest Hour earn Gary Oldman the best actor Oscar for his starring role as Winston Churchill in the World War II drama.
In the Garden of Beasts continues Hanks’ fascination with WWII-themed projects, after Playtone was behind the Emmy-winning miniseries Band of Brothers, The Pacific and John Adams.
Wright is repped by CAA.
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