Tom Hanks announces debut novel about the making of a comic book-inspired movie

With a synopsis that’s quite the word salad, Tom Hanks has announced his debut novel — about the making of a movie inspired by a comic book (that blurb alone might require a re-read). 

Titled The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece, the storyline of Hanks’ book will span 80 years, and focus on the production of a multimillion-dollar, star-studded superhero film —which itself is based on a fictional comic book series. Hanks’ comic book – within a movie – within a novel (we’ll call it fiction-ception) is set to enlist an equally disparate level of characters, from a troubled soldier returning from war to an arrogant film star on the rise.

Adding to the meta-shenanigans, Hanks — himself a director — revealed to People that “every character in the book” goes through something that he too has experienced in his real-life moviemaking career, which spans more than 80 film acting credits. The novel will also include comics written by Hanks himself, and drawn by illustrator, Robert Sikoryak. While the snappy synopsis reads like an SEO minefield, Hanks’ publishers thankfully clarified the novel’s timeline a little further.

The multi-generational story will comprise one section focussing on a soldier returning home from World War II, and another section about his nephew who was inspired to write the soldier into a comic book. Then, the book will chronicle a third section, in which a director in the present day finds the comic book and decides to make it into a movie. It’s the sort of crossover hijinks usually reserved for The Avengers, which is perhaps why Hanks’ publishers deemed the book “wildly ambitious.

Tom Hanks at typewriter
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“[The novel] is funny, touching, and wonderfully thought-provoking,” the publishers wrote. The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece will mark Hanks’ second book and debut novel, having released a short story collection titled Uncommon Type in 2017. The novel — the actor’s first to be based around his own experiences — is set to hit bookshelves in May of next year. You can check out the official cover above. 

Credit: American Buffalo Pictures

The news arrives on the same day as the announcement of Here, a separate upcoming superhero movie set to star Hanks and Avengers alum, Paul Bettany. That movie — also based on a comic book — will be helmed by Robert Zemeckis, who previously directed Hanks in 1994’s Forrest Gump.