Garden of Beasts

According to Deadline Hollywood, Tom Hanks and Michel Hazanavicius plan to meet soon to compare their Oscars, for Hanks to endearingly joke about having more than one, and to discuss possibly collaborating on In the Garden of Beasts. Adapted from the Erik Larson book of the same name, the project would focus on the real-world story of William Dodd – America’s ambassador to Hitler-controlled Germany – who was present in the lead up to WWII. There’s also a possibility of Natalie Portman getting involved, playing Dodd’s daughter who revels in Berlin life.

More than anything, it sounds like a frustration play. Dodd sent back Cassandra-like memos to the state department about growing violence aimed at Jewish citizens which went largely ignored. Just think of it. You’re a welcomed diplomat living in the heart of darkness, witnessing the growing madness of Hitler’s Holocaust, but no one back home wants to listen to your theories. It’s infuriating subject matter that could make for a thrilling drama, especially with the gold-plated talent involved.

Currently, it’s set up at Universal, but it needs a writer (and a script for that matter), so it could still be far off on the horizon. Fortunately, Hazanavicius is re-teaming with Berenice Bejo for a Chechnya-set drama about an NGO worker helping a lost little boy find his family as a follow-up to The Artist and The Players. Hanks, on the other hand, is busy taking awesome pictures with fans and playing Walt Disney, so there’s plenty of both filmmakers to keep us company before this gets rolling. Let’s just hope it does.


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