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Universal has dated News of the World for Dec. 25, 2020. Pic will go up against DreamWorks Animation’s Croods 2 and an untitled Paramount/Skydance event movie.
The pic, which reteams Tom Hanks with his Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass, will come in the wake of pre-Christmas releases next year: 20th Century Fox/Amblin’s West Side Story, Paramount’s Coming to America 2, Sony’s Uncharted starring Tom Holland, and Warner Bros./Legendary’s Dune.
News of the World, based on the National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles, follows Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks), a widower and veteran of three wars, who now moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes, and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe. The pic takes place five years after the end of the Civil War.
In the plains of Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna (Helena Zengel, System Crasher), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa tribe six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna, hostile to a world she’s never experienced, is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.
Greengrass adapted the script from an earlier draft by Luke Davies. The film is produced by Hanks and Gary Goetzman for their company, Playtone Productions, by Gregory Goodman and by Gail Mutrux for her Pretty Pictures. The executive producers are Steven Shareshian and Tore Schmidt.