Right around the corner is the new Cold War spy thriller Bridge of Spies, which marks the eleventh time that Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have worked together – both of them Hollywood legends by their own rights.
Spielberg produced two early Hanks pictures, The Money Pit (1986, also featuring Shelley Long) and Joe vs. the Volcano, released in 1990. He also directed Hanks in Saving Private Ryan (1998 with Matt Damon), Catch Me If You Can (2002 with Leonardo Dicaprio) and The Terminal (2004 with Catharine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci).
The two have also paired up as co-producers for two television miniseries, Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010). In addition, Hanks has done some narrating for Spielberg productions, providing the narrative for We Stand Alone Together, a World War II documentary concerning the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101rst Airborne Division, also known as E-Company (or the Screaming Eagles), which gave rise to their nickname “Easy Company.”
But this weekend is the highly anticipated release of Bridge of Spies, written by Matt Charman and the producing-directing-writing Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel.
The story involves the prisoner exchange that took place in order to secure the release of U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers in what might be the peak of the Cold War in 1960. Powers, who died in 1977, was shot down by the Soviet Union and was held as a spy for two years until a famous prisoner swap took place on the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin that took place on February 10, 1962.
The movie, which also features Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda is set for release on Friday.