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Tom Hanks Producing, Starring in American Adaptation of ‘A Man Called Ove’

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

American adaptations of successful foreign films will never go out of style (though it’s always a crapshoot as to whether they’ll actually be any good or not). German Oscar contender Toni Erdmann is getting an American remake, courtesy of Kristen Wiig and Jack Nicholson, and now A Man Called Ove, the bestselling Swedish book adapted last year by Hannes Holm (and nominated for two Academy Awards), is getting remade courtesy of one Tom Hanks.

Hanks will both produce and star in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is, ostensibly, an adaptation of the book, not a remake of the movie, which is probably a good play since Holm’s film was so popular both overseas and within our shores — it was the highest-grossing foreign language film in the U.S. in 2016.

Fredrik Backman’s 2012 bestseller is about a cantankerous old man whose attempts at suicide keep getting thwarted by chance and bad luck. Nonetheless, he seems to enjoy wallowing in the bitterness until a mixed-race family moves into his neighborhood and he enters into a heartwarming friendship with them.

It sounds like a bit of an odd role for Hanks, who has lately been choosing roles that are essentially Amiable Man Is Very Good At His Job, but it could be fun to see him take on the personality of an irritable old man for once.

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