Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King

That shot above is the first desolate look at Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King, which is the new film from Tom Tykwer. Hanks had a big role in Tykwer’s last film, too, which was the Wachowski siblings collaboration Cloud Atlas. Hanks’ company Playtone produced this new movie, along with a couple other companies, and it is being shown to distributors at Cannes.

The “dramatic comedy” features Hanks as Alan Clay, “a foundering American businessman who finds himself in the middle of the desert trying to make a business deal, with unanticipated surprises along the way.” The film is based on the book of the same name by Dave Eggers, in which Clay has gone to Saudi Arabia to lock down contracts to provide IT for a new building being constructed in the desert. 

The film also features Sarita Choudhury (Homeland)Omar Elba (Intelligence), Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said)David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tom Skerritt (Ted, Top Gun).

Here’s the basic account of the novel, the style of which has been compared to Hemingway thanks to its spare, dry language.

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together.

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