Dave Eggers is one of the finest novelists of his generation. It’s a bit strange, however, that the first movie adapted from one of his books is A Hologram for the King. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, Zeitoun and The Circle were all more high profile books of his, and yet it was this oddball story about an American businessman trying to sell his failed invention to Saudi Arabian royalty that made it to the big screen first.
It is a bit more understandable, though, considering all of Eggers’ stories are tough cinematic nuts to crack. They’re not exactly plot heavy stories filled with twists and turns to make a movie easier. They’re instead filled with deeply human moments, with inner monologues and internal struggles that aren’t exactly easy to communicate in a movie.
So how did A Hologram for the King do it? By hiring Tom Hanks, of course.
As director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas) explains in the below clip, Hanks was their secret weapon in finding the comedy in the book’s more subtle, typically unfilmable details. Check it out.
A Hologram for the King is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.