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Saving Private Llewyn: The Coen Brothers Are Writing A Cold War Thriller For Steven Spielberg And Tom Hanks

By 05.21.14
Saving-Private-Llewyn

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What happens when the gods of indie cinema team up with the godfather of the modern blockbuster? WE. MAY. SOON. FIND. OUUUUT.

The Coen Brothers are said to be writing a Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks attached, that Steven Spielberg is supposedly considering as his next directing project. They’d be rewriting a script by Matt Charman that The Hollywood Reporter dropped some details about in April:

It tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who was thrust into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers. Hanks’ attachment gives momentum to the project, which was set up last year.

Huh, okay. It doesn’t sound nearly as promising as Hail Caesar, said to be the Coens next directing project, but I’ll wait until they put their spin on it. To be fair, Inside Llewyn Davis sounded horrible right up until the second I saw it and wanted to rewatch it six times as soon as it was over.

Spielberg has a number of potential films vying for his attention including a religious period drama that DreamWorks is developing with The Weinstein Company; Robopocalypse, a sci-fi tentpole set up at Fox; and Montezuma, which tackles the drama between Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the famous Aztec ruler.

The Lincoln director already is attached to helm the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book The BFG for DreamWorks, committing to an early 2015 start for the adaptation. But that leaves room to fit in another movie before then. [THR]

Robopocalypse sounds horrible, and is based on a book by a guy who also wrote “Bro Jitsu: The Martial Art Of Sibling Smackdown” and “The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame: Muwahahaha!”, which sound like coffee table books at a state school frat house. Meanwhile, I’d love to see a Steven Spielberg Montezuma movie.

"Get off, I still haven't forgiven you for Indy 4."

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"Get off, I still haven't forgiven you for Indy 4."


As for Spielberg collaborating with the Coen Brothers, it’s sort of like the film equivalent of Radiohead teaming up with Michael Jackson. I like them both in their own ways, but have a hard time imagining them together. Mmmm, peanut butter and lobster! If we go by past experience, the Coens’ last movie that they wrote for someone else was the critical and commercial bomb Gambit, while Spielberg’s last high-profile collaboration with an acclaimed filmmaker was AI. So basically, I envision this as a cross between Gambit and AI.

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Hopefully with a howling fat man.

Is it too much to ask for a “Spielberg Face” of John Goodman howling?


TAGSCOEN BROSHOWLING FAT MEN OF THE COEN BROTHERSJAMES DONOVANSPIELBERG FACEsteven spielbergTOM HANKS

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