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Universal Picks Up Tom Hanks’ ‘News of the World’ From Fox 2000

Universal Pictures has picked up rights to the historical drama “The News of the World” with Tom Hanks attached to star.

The project, based on the best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles set in the days following the Civil War, was previously in development at Fox 2000. Disney decided to retire the Fox 2000 label last month as part of its purchase of the 20th Century Fox film studio, opting to go ahead only with projects that were already in production.

Paul Greengrass is in talks to direct and re-unite with Hanks. The duo’s most recent collaboration was “Captain Phillips.”

Luke Davies (“Lion”) wrote the screenplay for “The News of the World.” Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce the film through their Playtone banner with Gail Mutrux through Pretty Pictures. Gregory Goodman also produces.

The novel charts the unlikely friendship between Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an earlier precursor to today’s newscasters, and the 10-year-old girl he is tasked with bringing to her relatives.

Hanks most recently starred in “The Post” and is voicing Woody in “Toy Story 4.” He’s also starring as Fred Rogers in “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a biopic about the beloved children’s television host.

Greengrass has directed multiple movies for Universal including “Green Zone,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Jason Bourne,” and “United 93,” for which he received an best director Oscar nomination. He most recently directed the Netflix drama “22 July.” The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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