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Participant Joins Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks Cold War Thriller

Participant Media is joining DreamWorks Studios on Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War Spy thriller starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan.

Participant is also on board “The Light Between Oceans,” written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz.

“We have had a successful and rewarding partnership with Participant on six total films over the past years,” said DreamWorks president and chief operating officer Jeff Small. “We look forward to continuing this productive relationship, which allows us to bring exciting and quality films to audiences around the world.”

Participant has previously come on board to provide financing for half a dozen DreamWorks titles — “The Hundred Foot Journey,” “Lincoln,” “The Help,” “The Fifth Estate,” “The Kite Runner” and “The Soloist.” “Lincoln” is the top grosser with $275 million worldwide, followed by “The Help” with $215 million.

Participant Media CEO Jim Berk added, “Participant and DreamWorks collaborate so well because both our companies exist to bring entertaining and thought-provoking films to life.”

The Spielberg-Hanks project centers on James Donovan, an attorney who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1962. It will begin filming next month in New York and Berlin.

Spielberg will direct and produce the film with Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The executive producers are Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi.

The script was written by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on an original script by Matt Charman. It’s the first directing gig for Spielberg since “Lincoln” in 2011.

Fox is also co-financing the film and will handle international distribution, while Disney will release the film domestically on Oct. 16, 2015.

“Light Between Oceans,” a period drama based on the novel by M.L. Stedman, starts filming next month in New Zealand and Australia. The story — set on a remote Australian island following World War I — centers on a lighthouse keeper and his wife who discover a boat that washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant, who the couple decide to raise.

Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford are producing. Disney will distribute domestically and in select international territories, while Mister Smith Entertainment will handle distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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