Dust off those mid-’90s portmanteau names because Megahanks is back in business. Tom Hanks is in talks to appear in his old Nora Ephron buddy Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, Ithaca, in a small but significant role as the father of a boy whose life is dramatically changed by war.
The film, an adaptation of William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy, is set in California's San Joaquin Valley during the War years. Its protagonist is a telegraph bike messenger whose brother is fighting overseas and who is thus charged with looking after his widowed mum, big sis and young brother. Hanks plays the boy’s dad in a role that will presumably unfold in early, first-act appearances or in flashbacks, unless screenwriter Erik Jendresen has added a supernatural element to the story and a Zombie Hanks will be grrrrnnnffff’ing his way around small-town America. That seems unlikely.
Ryan and Hanks, who hit the heights in You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle and also appeared in Joe Versus The Volcano, have an on-screen chemistry that chimed with audiences in the ‘90s and has hopefully defied the years.