Tom Hanks to Meet Hitler in ‘In the Garden of the Beasts’

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone company has, along with help from Universal, optioned the next big Hanks-starring vehicle. This one will be an adaptation of a novel called “In the Garden of the Beasts” and will see Hanks traveling back in time to Nazi Germany to play U.S. ambassador William Dodd.

Dodd, along with his socialite daughter Martha, were fully engrained in the upper crust of Berlin back in 1933, right when things were starting to get crazy there but before everybody knew just how crazy. Dodd and his family lived amongst the Nazis, with his daughter even having an affair with a Gestapo official, but eventually conflict arose when they started to become more and more aware of the violence and evil that was happening right under their noses. Couple of real detectives, those two.

“In the Garden of the Beasts” was written by Erik Larson, who is also known for “The Devil and the White City,” which told the life story of Dr. H.H. Holmes, a Chicago serial killer who murdered a bunch of World’s Fair guests from out of town in a hotel that he had built to be a funhouse of torture and terror. That book has been optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio and his people, so, you know, Larson is building up quite the lucrative career of writing creepy books and then selling their film rights to huge movie stars. Good for him. It’s always nice to see a weirdo make good.

I hope he does just as well with his next project, which will probably be about cannibal serial rapists in the age of enlightenment or something. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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