Tom Hanks becomes king of streaming as 'News of the World' heads to Netflix outside USA


Watch: Trailer for News of the World

Tom Hanks is heading to streaming once again, as Netflix closes in on a deal to distribute awards contender News of the World outside of North America.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the streamer is on the verge of signing on the dotted line to nab the Universal Pictures project, which is set for a Christmas release in the USA and Canada.

It will be the latest Hanks film to head straight to streaming, after Second World War submarine tale Greyhound made the jump to Apple TV+ earlier this year.

Hanks initially said it was “heart-breaking” to see Greyhound avoid cinemas, but he later said it was “a magnificent gift” that people had chance to see the film.

Read more: Hanks shooting Elvis biopic in Australia

In the new movie, Hanks plays travelling storyteller Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd — a widower and veteran of three wars.

He meets 10-year-old Johanna — played by System Crasher actor Helena Zengel — who was taken in and raised by the Kiowa people, and agrees to chaperone her on a journey back to her biological parents.

Tom Hanks in the trailer for 'News of the World'. (Credit: Universal)
Tom Hanks in the trailer for 'News of the World'. (Credit: Universal)

News of the World reunites Hanks with director Paul Greengrass, with whom he combined to great effect in Somalian pirate nail-biter Captain Phillips.

That movie was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, with Hanks receiving near-universal acclaim for his work in the title role.

Greengrass previously worked with Netflix when the streamer released his 2018 thriller 22 July, about the murderous rampage of far-right terrorist Anders Breivik in 2011.

Read more: Greengrass says Bourne franchise woke up James Bond

News of the World is expected to be a top contender during the upcoming awards season, which has been delayed by a few months in recognition of the impact on Hollywood caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Academy has announced that the Oscars ceremony will take place on 25 April, rather than its usual February date.

Helena Zengel and Tom Hanks in <i>News of the World</i>. (Universal)
Helena Zengel and Tom Hanks in News of the World. (Universal)

Netflix has been nabbing a selection of studio movies this year, as many attempt to give their films a streaming home during the pandemic.

Paramount have sold several films to the streaming giant, including Oscar contender The Trial of the Chicago 7 and animated comedy The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.

Read more: New on Netflix UK in November 2020

Netflix also has its own awards contenders in the mix in the shape of films including David Fincher’s Hollywood drama Mank and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — the final screen performance of late actor Chadwick Boseman.

News of the World could well be an addition to that mix, with Netflix likely hoping it will not spark a repeat of the critical pasting currently greeting big Oscar hopeful Hillbilly Elegy.

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