We don’t know if it will be titled Sleeping Dogs or Triple Frontier, but the next feature from The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow has confirmed its first cast member. We reported last month that Tom Hanks, along with Johnny Depp, were in talks for the project. Although Depp has chosen Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows, Coming Soon reports that Tom Hanks has been finalized as one of the leads. The film is written by Bigelow’s Hurt Locker scribe and real-life partner Mark Boal.

The eclectic story is “set in the border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, which is a haven for organized crime, and centers on five men of various ages working in the zone.” This could turn into one major awards contender as Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Sean Penn and Jeremy Renner have all been interested in the project.

Production is expected to start mid-March and they are in the process of casting the rest of the film.

After shooting this film, Hanks will team up with The Wachowskis (The Matrix, Speed Racer) for Cloud Atlas. Halle Berry recently confirmed the casting of Hanks and Natalie Portman, while at a NAACP screening of her possible awards contender Frankie and Alice:

“I’m going to do a movie probably in the summer with the Wachowskis. It’s not brothers anymore, but the Wachowskis. A really interesting movie. Sort of like what they did with “The Matrix,” they have another really amazing idea that’s sort of gonna stretch our brains even further. And so I’m really excited about that and that’s probably gonna be in the summer. And that’s with Tom Hanks and Natalie Portman.

When we last heard, it was unclear if Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The International) would be helming it, but if Berry’s comment is any indication we could be seeing the return of the Wachowskis. This also lines up with earlier rumors of James McAvoy and Ian McKellan joining the film, but one could assume the latter will be busy with The Hobbit. Check out a synopsis of David Mitchell‘s novel below:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

Which Tom Hanks project are you more interested in?

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