Coen Brothers to Pen Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Untitled Cold War Thriller

     May 20, 2014

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Well, now this is interesting.  Remember that Cold War-era thriller in development with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks attached?  Now it seems as if Joel and Ethan Coen will draft the screenplay.  That’s a lot of Oscar-winning talent right there, enough to land the project on an incredibly early awards watch long before it even has a title.  The picture aims to tell the true story of James Donovan, “an attorney who was thrust into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated with the KGB for the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.”  Perhaps the news that the Coens are taking a crack at Matt Charman’s initial script will add enough heat to the project to make it Spielberg’s next directorial feature.  Hit the jump for more.

THR tom-hanks-coen-brothersreports that the Coens will turn in a draft for the untitled Cold War-era thriller set up at DreamWorks.  Spielberg was previously eyeing this picture as his next directorial effort, alongside projects like Robopocalypse, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and Montezuma.  (He’s also currently attached to direct an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story The BFG, but can fit another film in before production on that picture starts in early 2015.)  Then, it was announced that Hanks would be starring, which moved the thriller to the top of the list in many a journalist’s eyes.  After all, the director/actor duo have teamed up three times already for Saving Private RyanThe Terminal, and Catch Me If You Can, and they teamed up as producers for HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific.  Production on the new war film looks to begin this September in Europe.

The Coens, meanwhile, count Best Writing Oscars for their 1996 film Fargo, and their 2007 picture, No Country for Old Men.  They might as well aim for another Oscar win in this decade, and what better people to team up with than three-time Oscar-winner Spielberg and two-time Oscar-winner Hanks?   Then again, they might already have that wrapped up since they wrote the screenplay for Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, due out Christmas Day this year.  *As a fun fact, Hanks previously starred in the writers-directors 2004 film, The Ladykillers; something tells me the untitled Cold War-era thriller will have a slightly different tone.

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