Tom Hanks Options Garden of Beasts With Universal

Tom Hanks along with his producing partner,  Gary Goetzman, will soon begin adapting the novel, Garden of Beasts, into a film. According the Hollywood Reporter, Universal has supposedly secured the rights to the book.

Garden of Beasts is written by Erik Larson and it was released in 2011. There is potential that Hanks could star in the film as well as produce it but there is no definitive word as of now.

According to Larson’s website, he has described the book as follows:

With this new book, I invite you to journey to Berlin during Hitler’s first year in power, 1933, in the company of a real-life father and daughter from Chicago who suddenly found themselves transported to the heart of the city. They had no conception of the harrowing days that lay ahead. At the time, nothing was certain—Hitler did not yet possess absolute power, and few outsiders expected his government to survive. The family encountered a city suffused with energy and optimism, with some of the most striking, avant-garde buildings in the world. Its theaters, concert halls, and cafés were jammed; the streets teemed with well-dressed attractive people. But my two protagonists were about to begin an education that would change them forever, with ultimately tragic consequences.

The father was William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered professor who, much to his surprise and everyone else’s, was picked by President Roosevelt to be America’s first ambassador to Nazi Germany. His daughter, Martha, was 24 years old, and chose to come along for the adventure, and to escape a dead marriage to a New York banker. They and the rest of their family settled in a grand old house on the city’s central park, the Tiergarten—in literal translation, the Garden of Beasts. 

Dodd expected to encounter the same warm citizenry he had known three decades earlier while a graduate student in Leipzig; he hoped to use reason and quiet persuasion to temper Hitler’s government. Martha found the “New Germany” utterly enthralling, totally unlike the horrific realm depicted in newspapers back home. For her, as for many other foreign visitors at the time, the transformation of Germany was thrilling and not at all frightening. Not yet.

As that first year unfolded they experienced days full of energy, intrigue, and romance—and, ultimately, terror, on a scale they could never have imagined. Their experience tells volumes about why the world took so long to recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler.

I have been a fan of Tom Hanks for a while now, I mean who isn’t! I have to say I am pretty excited about this project. I also kind of hope he stars in it because he is a great actor and I think would do a good job on any role he portrays.

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