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Hanks Takes Road to Fox

DreamWorks Pictures has surprised industry watches by deciding to sell half its stake in The Road to Perdition to Twentieth-Century Fox. The film, based on the DC Comics/Paradox Press graphic novel by Max Allen Collins, will be directed by Sam Mendes (an Oscar winner for American Beauty) and stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law. The change came about for two primary reasons: an opportunity to share production costs now that high-priced talent such as Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law have been cast, and to help release DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg from a film commitment to Fox. In order to close the deal for Spielberg to direct Tom Cruise in Minority Report, Spielberg gave Fox an option on a future Spielberg film. By giving Fox co-production on Perdition, which at this point looks to be a possible hit, Spielberg is freed from his commitment, which simplifies things for the future. Other Spielberg projects currently in development are Memoirs of a Geisha and Big Fish,  both being produced by Sony Pictures.

The Road to Perdition is set in Depression-era Chicago. Hanks will play Michael O'Sullivan, nicknamed  the Angel of Death, a hitman seeking revenge for the murders of his wife and youngest son.