Hanks travels ‘Mile’

Tom Hanks is in negotiations to star in Frank Darabont’s “The Green Mile” for Castle Rock Entertainment.

Darabont adapted the screenplay from author Stephen King’s six-part “Green Mile” series, published last year (Daily Variety, Jan. 24, 1997).

Hanks is poised to topline the film after he completes “You Have Mail,” his reunion with Meg Ryan and Nora Ephron for Warner Bros. “Mail” is expected to begin production early next year, with “Green Mile” expected to follow soon afterward.

“Mile” is an adaptation of King’s novella, which is set in prison and details the story of a mentally challenged man — convicted of murdering two children — and his relationship with his guards on Death Row.

The film blends elements that, in the past, have led to critical and financial success for Hanks, Darabont and Castle Rock. Darabont previously earned an Oscar nomination for his first directorial effort with the adaptation of King’s “Shawshank Redemption,” also for Castle Rock. And Hanks, of course, won his second, consecutive Oscar for his portrayal of a mentally challenged man in “Forrest Gump.”

Before he adapted “Mile,” Darabont did a rewrite for Steven Spielberg on Paramount/DreamWorks’ “Saving Private Ryan,” in which Hanks stars. Darabont also helmed Hanks in an episode of Hanks’ and Imagine Entertainment’s “From the Earth to the Moon” for HBO.

Hanks is repped by the Creative Artists Agency.

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