Coen brothers join Spielberg, Hanks in Cold War thriller, report says

The Coen brothers
Joel and Ethan Coen will reportedly write the screenplay for a Steven Spielberg-directed Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks. Above, the filmmaker brothers, with Ethan at left, at the premiere last fall of “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ untitled Cold War thriller is shaping up to be a hot property.

Oscar-winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have joined the project to write a draft of the screenplay, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Originally penned by Matt Charman, the movie is based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), an American attorney who was enlisted by the CIA to slip behind the Iron Curtain and negotiate the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.

The Coen brothers have won writing Oscars for “No Country for Old Men” and “Fargo,” both of which they also directed, but they have also occasionally written films helmed by others, most recently “Gambit” and “Unbroken.”


Spielberg, who hasn’t made a movie since 2012’s “Lincoln,” is currently attached to direct an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” early next year, but he could presumably squeeze in another movie before then.

Post-"Lincoln,” Spielberg has also been linked to the sci-fi tent-pole “Robopocalypse,” the 19th century religious drama “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” and a historical epic about the Spanish conquistador Cortez, but given the scope of those films, it’s unlikely he’ll tackle any of them before “The BFG,” if at all.

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