Tom Hanks eyes Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts


Erik Larson has written a number of acclaimed works of non-fiction, including The Devil in the White City, Isaac’s Storm, and Thunderstruck (which is sadly not about the AC/DC song). It appears that Tom Hanks has taken interest in adapting Larson’s most recent book, In the Garden of Beasts, which is about Hitler’s Germany in the early 1930s. Hanks is looking to star in the film and will co-produce it with Gary Goetzman.

Here’s the description of the book:

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance — and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

This would be another in a string of literary adaptations involving Hanks. He’ll soon be seen in the film version of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and is currently working on the adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas helmed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. (Both books, by the way, are good reads.)

[Via Collider]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.