Tom Hanks may play Walt Disney

Tom Hanks may play Walt Disney

Disney is making serious inroads toward green-lighting a movie about Walt Disney, and who better to play the company’s benevolent Uncle Walt than Tom Hanks (asks a development executive who also has a PowerPoint slide cued up with Johnny Depp on it, in case the room turns cold)? Deadline reports that Hanks is in talks about taking the lead in Saving Mr. Banks (not to be confused with this Mr. Banks, or this Tom Hanks-led campaign to save someone) opposite Emma Thompson as Australian author P.L. Travers, whose tale of a magical nanny was transformed, after 14 years of Disney’s wheedling, into Mary Poppins. The Black List-recognized script from Kelly Marcel will be directed by The Blind Side’s John Lee Hancock, and teases out Disney’s awkward courtship of the hard-bitten Travers—an already-contentious relationship that permanently soured after Travers saw how her very personal story about her own childhood hardships and her estranged relationship with her late father was transformed into a movie about Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke cavorting with cartoon penguins. It's just a hunch, but somehow we expect that Tom Hanks’ Disney will come out looking better than that original script implies.