Hanks & son pair for pic; Kline in talks to join

Bristol Bay Prods. has come on board to fully finance “The Great Buck Howard,” the Colin Hanks-Tom Hanks magician comedy.

Playtone flirted with placing “Buck” with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (Daily Variety, May 18). The company floated its attachment to make pre-sales, but dropped out quickly.

Kevin Kline is in talks to join the cast. Sean McGinly will direct his script, and production will begin in July in New York.

Playtone’s Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce.

Kline is negotiating to play a renowned illusionist whose career is on the wane. Colin Hanks will play a kid fresh out of school who becomes the magic man’s assistant. In a smaller role, Tom Hanks plays Buck’s father, who is not at all enthused about his son’s career choice.

Bristol Bay, the sister company to Walden Media in the Anschutz Film Group, will fully finance the film, and make distribution deals later.

Anschutz Film Group president Cary Granat said the modestly budgeted project was ideal for Bristol Bay, which is trying to hit a more mature demo than Walden Media, which just scored with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Playtone is in business with Walden on “City of Ember,” the live-action adaptation of the Jeanne DuPrau fantasy book series.

Bristol Bay senior veep of production Jackie Levine will oversee “Buck.”

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