Tom Hanks is partnered up with director Marc Forster (World War Z) to develop a new comedy film called A Man Called Otto, and Sony Pictures just got it for $60 million! This is reportedly the biggest deal to date at the virtual European Film Market, beating Netflix’s $55 million purchase of The Pale Blue Eye last year.
The movie is based on Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel A Man Called Ove, which tells the story of Otto (Hanks), “a grumpy and strict widower who holds the rest of his neighborhood to his staunch rules. But just as Otto is about to give up on his life, he sparks a new friendship with his neighbors, prompting him to undergo a transformation.”
Hanks is one of my all-time favorite actors and he is a brilliant actor, he proves time after time again that he can play any role that’s tossed at him. This is sure to be yet another excellent character for him to play.
Tom Rothman, chairman, and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group said in a statement, “What an amazing all-star constellation of talent: Tom Hanks in an iconic role and an exceptional director in Mark Forster; outstanding producers in Rita Wilson, Gary Goetzman, and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro; exquisite screenplay from David Mcgee; a worldwide best-selling book; and our long-time partner, SF Studios. Elizabeth Gabler, myself, and Sony have had the privilege of working with all of these giants before, but this time we feel like we hit the lottery.”
Producer Wikström Nicastro added, “Tom and Elizabeth’s passion for the material and vision for how to create a worldwide theatrical event blew us all away. We couldn’t be more excited for Otto to find a home with our friends at Sony.”
Wilson went on to say, “We are thrilled to partner with Sony, who have consistently shown their commitment to film and filmmakers. In this era, which offers so many ways to be entertained, we applaud Sony’s commitment to theatrical exhibition.”
The rest of the movie cast includes Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. David Magee (Life of Pi, Mary Popping Returns) is adapting the screenplay and will act as an executive producer. Production on the movie is set to start this month in Pittsburgh.