January 18, 2017

Tom Hanks’ Playtone lines up Green Day musical, “American God” for HBO


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions is lining up a slate of projects, even as the Playtone team is busy promoting Hanks’ latest, “Larry Crowne,” on an international press tour.

The projects would keep Playtone involved in TV, movie and Broadway entertainment efforts, Playtone partner Gary Goetzman told THR. One of the first projects on the docket would be a six-season adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel “American Gods” for HBO.

“Rich in religious folklore that spanned millennia and featuring deities from Greek and Nordic mythology, and even the Judeo-Christian monotheistic God making an appearance, in the contemporary U.S., American Gods will be effects-heavy to do justice to the awe-inspiring power of the divine beings,” the trade reports.

From there, Playtone intends to move on to a 3D feature based around the popular toy Major Matt Mason, something Hanks always talked about while promoting Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise. As THR notes, they’d like Robert Zemeckis to direct.

But the last feature sounds most interesting. Hanks and Playtone would like to produce a feature-film version of “American Idiot,” a Broadway adaptation of Green Day’s Grammy-winning rock opera.

“‘Mamma Mia!’ proved that if the musical is right, obviously it can go into the stratosphere, as far as box office gross. We’re always looking for musicals,” said Goetzman. “If we can do that, it’d be a genre that’s as respected as any produced by the studios. Maybe there will be three musicals a year, maybe five. I think that’s important otherwise we’d just have this tentpole mentality where if it’s not based on a comic book or cost $200 million, you’re stacked in like pillars. We need all these genres to be respected and we need the studios not to be afraid of them.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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