Oscar winner Tom Hanks could be poised for awards-show glory and box-office success after starring in a string of flops. He has two movies coming out in the last quarter of 2013 that are getting him considerable buzz: "Captain Phillips" (which has a U.S./Canadian release date of Nov. 11, 2013) and "Saving Mr. Banks," which arrives in U.S. and Canadian theaters in limited release on Dec. 13, 2013, and expands to more theaters on Dec. 20, 2013.
Anticipation for Hanks' return to the big screen caused considerable interest on the Internet on Sept. 26, 2013, when his name became a Top 10 search topic on Yahoo!
After the blockbuster success of 2010's "Toy Story 3," Hanks was in a bit of a slump when several movies he starred in were considered disappointments at the box office: 2011's "Larry Crowne" (which he directed); 2011's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"; and 2012's "Cloud Atlas." Although "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" got an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, "Larry Crowne" and "Cloud Atlas" were snubbed by the Oscars and got mostly negative reviews.
Here is a description of "Captain Phillips" from Columbia Pictures:
"Captain Phillips" is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is — through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens — simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
Here is the description of "Saving Mr. Banks" from Walt Disney Pictures:
Two-time Academy Award–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise — one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops.
Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. Disney presents “Saving Mr. Banks,” directed by John Lee Hancock, produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Christine Langan.
Besides his work in movies as an actor and filmmaker, Hanks has been busy with projects in television and theater. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2013 for his starring role in the Nora Ephron play "Lucky Guy," which was Hanks' Broadway debut.
Hanks has won Emmy Awards for being an executive producer of several TV projects with HBO, including the TV-movie "Game Change" and the miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," "Band of Brothers," "The Pacific" and "John Adams."
Hanks has two Academy Awards for Best Actor, for his roles in 1993's "Philadelphia" and 1994's "Forrest Gump."
He is also a producer of the movie "Parkland," which is about ordinary people in Dallas who were directly affected by the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Tom Hanks is not in the movie, but his son Colin Hanks has a supporting role in the film, as a doctor who was on duty at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where Kennedy was taken after he was shot. "Parkland" is set for a limited release in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 4, 2013.
Other movies produced by Tom Hanks include 2000's "Cast Away," 2007's "Charlie Wilson's War" and 2009's "Where the Wild Things Are."