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Stephen Daldry is currently negotiating with Paramount and Warner Bros. to helm a film based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel. According to indieWIRE, Daldry will be directing Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks. Scott Rudin is set for production duties, and Eric Roth (Forest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) wrote the film’s screenplay.
“Extremely Loud” will center on the very unique story of the novel: an intelligent nine-year-old tries to find a lock that goes with a key left behind by his father who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, the boy’s grandparents recall their lives during World War II. Foer also wrote the novel that was turned into the film Everything is Illuminated starring Elijah Wood.
Bullock and Hanks will be playing the parental units, while the role of the nine-year-old has yet to be cast. However, filmmakers are rushing to find the young actor who is right for the role. Production is set to being in New York City sometime in January with the goal of a release date in time for Oscar consideration next year.
It certainly sounds like an interesting concept. Plus, the teaming of Bullock and Hanks sounds like a match made in heaven. Both are great in romantic-comedies, the forte of Bullock and the former forte of Hanks, but both also have excellent dramatic chops. Bullock proved that she had dramatic strengths in both her standout performance in Crash and her Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side; Hanks showed off his serious acting abilities in Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia and a talent for method acting in Forrest Gump.
It’s safe to say that if this film is good (and gets savvy campaign treatment) that this film will be a huge Oscar contender when it is released, as “Extremely Loud” has Oscar pedigree all over it. Four of Roth’s screenplays have received Academy recognition, and Rudin took home the Best Picture Oscar for producing No Country for Old Men. Both Roth and Rudin help with the Oscar prestige, but the main factor here is Daldry. He is a favorite of Academy voters, having received Director nominations for all three of his films. Two received Best Picture nominations and they have received five acting nominations total: one for Billy Elliott, three for The Hours, and one for The Reader. The latter two films won Actress Oscars for Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet, respectively.
With that in mind, Bullock would be in contention for Oscar number two and Hanks could find himself with his first Oscar nomination since Cast Away.