As if the true-life, untitled Cold War tale about a downed U2 plane didn’t have enough high-profile talent circling with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg interested, it will now benefit from the attentions a couple of very well known writers: Joel and Ethan Coen have been hired to write a new draft.
Matt Charman wrote the original version of the story, which focuses on James Donovan, a lawyer who was pushed head-first into the Cold War when he had to negotiate for the release of downed U2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers after the airman was shot down over Russia.
DreamWorks nabbed the rights to Charman’s script last year, and it has attracted Hanks and Spielberg, which just fuels the push to get it made. A stumbling block has been the director’s busy schedule, with several potential projects vying for his attention. But it would appear that he’s ready to tackle this story next, followed by the Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG. Having the Coens come on to take a pass at the screenplay only heightens the likelihood that he’ll tackle it.
But having the Coens as writers for hire doesn’t always guarantee gold. They’ve scored Oscars for their own films Fargo and No Country For Old Men, but some of their outside assignments, such as Gambit, haven’t exactly been successful.
Still, with Spielberg in charge, we can be more hopeful. The Coens’ next freelance writing gig, Angelina Jolie’s second directorial effort Unbroken, is out here on December 26.