Oscar Bait: Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' spy thriller begins production
Why don't we talk about Steven Spielberg's "Munich" more? Flipping his sentimentalist reputation the bird, the docudramatized look inside Mossad's covert retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization is unmercifully tense and morally complicated to the point of inducing anxiety attacks. "Munich" is weaponized blockbuster filmmaking — and it sounds like Spielberg's antsy to return to the style.
Perhaps praise for the 2006 Best Picture-nominee will resurface next October, when Spielberg adds another notch to his thriller belt with a Cold War drama starring "Catch Me If You Can" star Tom Hanks. Dreamworks and Walt Disney Pictures announced today that principal photography has begun on the currently untitled film, which costars Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda.
Shooting around New York and Berlin, the film tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney thrust into Cold War chaos when the CIA recruits him for a "near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot." Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the latest drafts of the script, initially pitched and penned by British playwright Matt Charman.
If there were more Oscar gold bundled in this package, the Academy could scrap its museum plans and open up shop on Spielberg's set. The director is a 12-time nominee, three-time Academy Award winner, picking up statues for Best Director and Best Picture on "Schindler's List" and Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan"; Hanks is also a two-time winner, earning Best Actor accolades for "Forrest Gump" and "Philadelphia"; Throw in the Coens, Ryan, and the lengthy list of prestigious producers and "Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller" looks like 24 karats. But can Spielberg's darker mode find more love than "Munich"?
Spielberg's film will be released in theaters on Oct. 16, 2015