Aspiring author, and noted actor, Tom Hanks will publish his debut novel, The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece, on May 9, 2023.
The novel, as its title suggests, will center around something Hanks obviously knows a lot about: making a movie. The plot, as it’s laid out on the website of publisher Penguin Random House, will span 80 years and be split into three sections, starting in 1947, when a soldier returns from World War II and has a brief but memorable encounter with his young nephew, and then disappears.
Part two picks up with the nephew in 1970s San Francisco, where he’s making underground comic books. After reconnecting with his long-lost uncle, the nephew recalls a superhero comic he read when he was a kid and creates a new version of it based on his uncle’s experience in WWII. Smash cut to the present, a blockbuster director finds the comic, decides to adapt it, and the rest of the novel delves into the making of that “motion picture masterpiece.”
On top of writing the whole damn novel, Hanks also created three comic books central to the book’s plot and interspersed them throughout the novel. Hanks wrote the comics, while storied comic artist Robert Sikoryak provided the illustrations.
“The source for a movie can go back as many years as are in history,” Hanks said (via People). “A story turns on a single moment in the life of someone, then all the anecdotes of the current day magnify that moment. Going back to 1947 makes sense, as would have starting in, say, 1559. Human yearning has proven to be timeless.”
He added, “No one knows how a movie is made — though everyone thinks they do. I’ve made a ton of movies (and four of them are pretty good, I think) and I’m still amazed at how films come together. From a flicker of an idea to the flickering image onscreen, the whole process is a miracle.”
The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece marks Hanks’ second book, following his short story collection, Uncommon Type, which was published in 2017.