Tom Hanks Goes To East Berlin In The Spielberg-Directed, Coen-Written ‘Bridge Of Spies’

Steven Spielberg directs a script co-written by the Coen Brothers set in Cold War Berlin starring Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, and I am interested in all of those things. Today we have the new UK trailer, which has a bit more footage than the domestic one.

A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures’ “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him [to East Berlin] on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen and Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.

The U2 pilot was Francis Gary Powers (played here by Austin Stowell), who was shot down over the Soviet Union (the U.S. didn’t think the USSR had anti-aircraft guns capable of reaching U-2s at the time), captured, and eventually traded for a KGB spy being held in the U.S., “Rudolf Abel,” played here by Mark Rylance.

I visited the Stasi Museum in Berlin when I was there for the film festival last year, where I got to see some of the Cold War’s most cutting-edge spy tools, like “disguises” and “tiny” cameras hidden in shoes and trashcans, which couldn’t possibly have fooled anyone who was paying attention. Based on that, I’ll just say that the Coen brothers writing are a perfect fit. And with Spielberg directing, I’m hoping this will be a slightly dumbed-down version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that isn’t just solemn British men smoking for two and a half hours while I wonder what the hell just happened.

Bridge of Spies opens Oct. 16.

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