Tom Hanks has played more roles than most actors could ever dream of, but his most memorable ones often feature his everyman persona in a very foreign setting. Whether it’s Hanks’ Chuck Noland marooned in Cast Away, his Captain Miller thrust into military service in Saving Private Ryan, and even his Paul Edgecomb coming into contact with the magical world of The Green Mile, the two-time Oscar winner is at his best when his character has to struggle in an unfamiliar environment.
Enter A Hologram for the King, an adaptation of Dave Eggers‘ 2012 National Book Award finalist directed by Tom Tykwer and Ahmed Al-Ibrahim. The story centers on a failed American businessman who’s looking to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch. You can probably guess what the idea is from the title, just like you can guess at the tone of this particular trailer. It features a very American Hanks bumbling his way through the culture shock of Saudi Arabia, accompanied by a young driver who attempts to help him keep his head in a literal sense. Unfortunately, the trailer seems to suggest that this movie will be a formulaic rehashing of Hanks’ earlier character work, but hopefully something more substantial will come out of it, otherwise the rich source material and talented cast and crew will be wasted.
Also starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt, and Sarita Choudhury, A Hologram for the King opens April 22nd. Watch the first trailer for A Hologram for the King below:
Here’s the official synopsis for A Hologram for the King:
Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).