Tom Hanks’ production company has joined with Universal studios to pick up the movie rights for Erik Larson’s bestseller In The Garden of Beasts. With his company, Playtone, Hanks is set to produce the adaptation and is considering the starring role as well.
In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin was published in May and tells the nonfiction story of William Dodd, who was the United States’ unassuming ambassador to Berlin in 1933. Along with worries regarding the rising fascist regime, Dodd had to look after his socialite daughter, Martha, who was romantically linked to a Gestapo officer and Soviet spy. While at first innocently navigating the social and political waters, the Dodd family slowly becomes aware of what is really beginning to happen in Berlin.
Another of Erik Larson’s non-fiction books, The Devil in the White City, has garnered Hollywood attention, as Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights in 2010.
Hanks is no stranger to historical adaptation and World War II specifically. His production company was behind HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific and he starred in the D-Day epic Saving Private Ryan. He can next be seen in the upcoming Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and is filming Cloud Atlas. Hanks is also involved as a producer for several upcoming TV movies and shows.