Erik Larson book describes U.S. ambassador's time in Nazi Germany

Universal has optioned film rights to Erik Larson’s non-fiction novel “In the Garden of the Beasts” with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman on board to produce.

Hanks and Goetzman would produce through their Playtone shingle. The pic is being developed as a possible starring vehicle for Hanks.

The book revolves around the true story of William Dodd, United States Ambassador to Berlin and his daughter, Martha, who lived in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. While initially dismissive of the darkness gathering in the country, the family soon became aware of the scope of the hostile environment surrounding them.

No writer or director have yet been attached.

Pic marks yet another Word War II effort for Playtone – the shingle produced the HBO mini-series “The Pacific.”

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