Tom Hanks wants Michel Hazanavicius to direct the true story In the Garden of Beasts

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Oscar winner seeks Oscar winner to direct Oscar winner in potential Oscar winner.

That is how I imagined the headline for this article. Tom Hanks wants THE ARTIST director Michel Hazanavicius to direct the adaptation of Erik Larson’s non-fiction book IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS. Hanks, who is set to star as well as produce, is also looking for Natalie Portman to take the role of his daughter.

The book comes from the same author of THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, another project that has been in development for a while. Both are phenomenal books on very different subjects. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS may not be about a serial killer, but would definitely qualify as a thriller.

Plot: Hanks will play William Dodd, a mild-mannered Chicago professor who becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany before the Nazis began to assert an iron grip across Europe. At first, his family embraces the vibrant scene in Berlin, and his young daughter Martha (the role they want Portman to play) in particular falls hard for the seduction and engages in a series of affairs with the handsome men of the Third Reich and even the first chief of the Gestapo. Soon enough, the ambassador gets reports of violence against Jews and even though his dispatches to the State Department are met with indifference, he continues to be concerned with the growing press censorship and the passage of shocking laws. It leads to the gradual realization of the horrific genocide that Hitler actually has planned for Europe and the world. Portman isn’t set yet, but I hear Hazanavicius is preparing to work on a draft with a writer that will soon be hired.

I am intrigued to see what Hazanavicius has to offer. As a director, I think he has a lot more talent than many out there. THE ARTIST was a great movie. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS will tackle the years just before the rise of Nazism, so I expect the film to have a lush, rich visual style that may disintegrate as the movie progresses. Plus, having Natalie Portman is always a plus.

No word on a release date or production start, but Hazanavicius only has one project coming up, so this could begin filming as early as next year.

Source: Deadline

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.