Tom Hanks to headline Hazanavicius’s In the Garden of Beasts

hanks

Tom Hanks will star in and produce a feature based on Erik larson’s book “In the Garden of Beasts”.

Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”) will direct the film, which will team Hanks with a harrowing pre-World War 2 storyline and, quite possibly, Natalie Portman.

Deadline, who broke the news, says :

Hanks will play William Dodd, a mild-mannered Chicago professor who becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany before the Nazis began to assert an iron grip across Europe. At first, his family embraces the vibrant scene in Berlin, and his young daughter Martha (the role they want Portman to play) in particular falls hard for the seduction and engages in a series of affairs with the handsome men of the Third Reich and even the first chief of the Gestapo. Soon enough, the ambassador gets reports of violence against Jews and even though his dispatches to the State Department are met with indifference, he continues to be concerned with the growing press censorship and the passage of shocking laws. It leads to the gradual realization of the horrific genocide that Hitler actually has planned for Europe and the world. Portman isn’t set yet, but I hear Hazanavicius is preparing to work on a draft with a writer that will soon be hired.

The project is set up with Universal and Hanks’s Playtone.