Hanks to star in Van Sant-helmed adaptation
Universal Pictures has made a six-figure acquisition of “How Starbucks Saved My Life” based on a 102-page proposal and attached Tom Hanks to star and Gus Van Sant to direct.Playtone partners Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce. Book, to be published by Penguin imprint Gotham Books, is a memoir by Michael Gates Gill, a former J. Walter Thompson exec who found himself down and out when he was downsized out of a job. In his 60s and in a personal tailspin because of an affair that ended his marriage, Gill saw his luck change when he entered a Starbucks and walked out with a job offer from the store’s manager, giving his life new purpose. The proposal slipped out in New York last week, and though the book has yet to be written, several studios felt the story was a blueprint for a film on the timely subject of mature execs who must find a third act when cut loose from their jobs. Playtone has animated pic “The Ant Bully” opening Aug. 4 via Warner Bros.; the Mike Nichols-directed “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which begins production Sept. 15 at Universal with Hanks and Julia Roberts; and the Spike Jonze-directed “Where the Wild Things Are,” which is starting production at WB this summer.