Otto is a grump who’s given up on life following the loss of his wife and wants to end it all. When a young family moves in nearby, he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol, leading to a friendship that will turn his world around.
Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol – she challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
Columbia Pictures presents in association with SF Studios, an SF Studios production, an Artistic Films production, a Playtone production, a 2Dux2 production, a film by Marc Forster, A Man Called Otto. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Truman Hanks, and Mike Birbiglia. Directed by Marc Forster. Screenplay by David Magee. Based on the novel “En Man Som Heter Ove” by Fredrik Backman and the film “En Man Som Heter Ove” by Hannes Holm. Produced by Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, p.g.a, Rita Wilson, p.g.a., Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman. The executive producers are Marc Forster, Renée Wolfe, Louise Rosner, David Magee, Michael Porseryd, Tim King, Sudie Smyth, Steven Shareshian, Celia Costas, Neda Backman, and Tor Jonasson. The co-executive producer is John Friedberg. The co-producer is Kate Myers. The director of photography is Matthias Königsweiser. The production designer is Barbara Ling. The editor is Matt Chessé, ACE. Music by Thomas Newman. The costume designer is Frank Fleming. Casting by Francine Maisler, CSA and Molly Rose, CSA.
A Man Called Otto has been rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving suicide attempts, and language by the Motion Picture Association. The film will be released exclusively in New York and Los Angeles on December 30, 2022, will expand to limited theaters across the U.S. on January 6, 2023 and will then open wide in the U.S. on January 13, 2023.
For Otto Anderson, there’s only one way of doing things: the right way. Whether it’s how to park on the street (by permit only), or recycle (cans go in the cans bin, glass goes in the glass bin), lock up a bicycle (on the bike rack – that’s what it’s there for), drive a car (stick shift), or any number of other daily tasks and activities, there’s Otto’s way… and everyone who does anything else is an idiot. “He’s been set in his ways since he was four hours old,” says Tom Hanks, who brings the character to life in A Man Called Otto. “His world is a binary one. The world operates one way and one way only, and that’s according to the rules – and anybody can read the rules, and anybody can follow them.”
The neighborhood has reached a tenuous status quo – Otto gripes about the rules, and his neighbors accept that that’s just the way Otto is… until a new family moves in across the street, upending everything Otto thought he knew about the way life works.
The character first appeared in the international bestseller A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. Widely read around the world, the book stayed on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 42 weeks. It was then adapted into a feature film in Sweden, where it became a phenomenon; according to the Swedish Film Institute, it is the third-most-watched Swedish film of all time. It was nominated for two Oscars®, including Best Foreign Language Film.
Following the success of the novel in the states and the Swedish film, producer Fredrik Wikström Nicastro set out to develop an American retelling of the film. When Rita Wilson and Hanks then saw the Swedish film, they reached out to Nicastro. The producers would join forces, with Hanks starring and SF Studios (who produced and financed the Swedish film) fully financing the film.
“There’s so much about this story that resonated with me,” Wilson says. “The theme of finding hope , finding community with the unlikeliest of people, and learning to accept others that may be different than us made an impact on me. Adding to that was that there are serious themes yet, as in life, even in the most difficult times, we can still laugh. These elements of light breaking through the dark give us hope. And, we can all use a little hope.”
“As a producer, you’re always looking for something that hits you just right – that makes you think, ‘I’ve got to make this movie,’” continues Wilson, who produces alongside Hanks and his Playtone partner Gary Goetzman, as well as Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, who also produced the Swedish film. “Like every other producer who has a great role for an actor, who wouldn’t want Tom Hanks as their star? I felt that Tom would be the perfect person to play that character.”
For Wilson, this character combined elements of comedy and drama that she wanted to see him bring to theaters. “Tom got his start in comedy, and I was asking him, why hasn’t he done more of that recently? His work has been incredible, but it’s been dramatic. He said, ‘It’s really hard to find projects that have the right comedic sensibility.’ This movie aligned with who he is as an actor, but also what he likes to put out there, and the right comedic take on that.”
“Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor. He’s an icon,” says Marc Forster, who directs the film. “He’s extraordinary. Every role he plays, you believe him in it, because he has this incredible heart so you can relate to him. He comes from comedy and is very good in physical comedy, it's brilliant how he moves and his timing – but at the same time he’s extraordinary as a dramatic actor. In this role, he merges these two skillsets, and that makes Otto unique. You feel him, you laugh at him, you laugh with him, and you cry for what he is going through.”
That comedic sensibility combined with some of life’s big questions that will bring real emotion. As Wilson points out, “The story is so universal. It deals with so much of what people are going through. What is our purpose? Why are we here? What do we want out of this life? How can we change our perceptions about the people around us?”
Executive producer Renée Wolfe, who is Marc Forster’s producing partner, says that it is that mix of comedy and big questions that appealed to the director, after previously helming such varied projects from Finding Neverland to the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. “Marc excels at working with actors to bring out the truth and the honesty of a scene,” says executive producer Renée Wolfe. “To watch him and Tom work together to continually evolve the character of Otto, both in a comedic and dramatic sense, was a pure joy. Tom and Marc shared a common creative language on set that was absolutely beautiful to witness.”
“It’s not easy to make a story that is both personal and at the same time speaks to a universal audience,” Wolfe continues. “In a sense, the character of Otto is a little bit like every one of us. Somewhat Chaplin-like, Otto resonates what much of the world is feeling today – a sense of wanting to connect to each other but not knowing where to start. That’s Marc’s special gift. He saw right away that even though A Man Called Otto is a character study at heart, it was also a story that would speak to audiences everywhere.”
“The comedic elements of the story resonate with all of us because they are so funny and so human,” says Forster. “We all get angry sometimes, and we can see that in Otto. How many people get road rage? That’s not so far from Otto himself.”
Translating the story to America was both a challenge and organic. “We wanted to make it a very, very American version of the film,” Nicastro continues. “There are a lot of themes that we felt are very relevant for our times – connection and community, letting go of the past and embracing life.”
It’s not a changing world that has Otto annoyed – it’s that he clearly sees a way the world can operate that would be better for everyone, and a vast populace who cut corners, making everything worse. “Unlike a lot of grumps, he’s not trying to protect his own or maintain a status quo,” Hanks explains. “Otto wants balance and equity for everyone who shares the street, and the best way to share that street is to care for it so that everyone can enjoy its benefits.”
“Every time someone has read the script, or talked to me about the book, they say they know an Otto,” says David Magee, who reunites with Marc Forster after the two collaborated on Finding Neverland at the beginning of their careers. “They have someone in their life – a cousin, a grandfather – who can be cranky or opinionated or strong-willed, sometimes in a way that is frustrating, sometimes in a way that’s hilarious. But underneath that, they understand that it’s a person with a real heart that they care about. In my case, while my father was a very different person, I recognize in him that stoic crankiness when things go wrong.”
And things have gone wrong for Otto. “He’s led this ritualistic life, and then suddenly, everything changes for him,” says Hanks. “His wife has passed away. He is forced into retirement. New neighbors move in. He’s feeling like the only thing he has left is his daily routine, and now he thinks he’s fighting his final battle, against the relentlessness of fate.”
“The thing that Otto is dealing with really is time – relentless time that passes – and time ends up being both the villain and the hero of the piece,” Hanks continues. “Otto hates the passing of that time. He rebels against the fact that it's time for him retire. He doesn't appreciate the fact that his wife got older and she developed the great malady of maladies, and her time was up.
“And now, he’s trying to rush time along, to end it all for himself and join her,” says Forster. “But you can’t do that.”
That’s why he’s so grumpy, says Hanks. With the passing of his wife, Sonya – a courtship that the film lovingly plays out in flashbacks – Otto has lost the sweetness that makes life worth living. “He knew that he was made different by Sonya,” says Hanks. “He knew that his life was inarguably more full. He knew that he had access to a whole different way of thinking, talking, eating, that he never would have had the curiosity in order to pursue if he hadn't met this extraordinary love of his life. He did not have an openness until he married somebody who was open. He did not have empathy until he met somebody who taught him how easy it can be to empathize with somebody. And when she was gone, he thought he was never going to have that back again. And in the early part of the film, he’s actually trying to speed along time. But time takes care of itself. You can’t fight it. He lives another day and he goes from a bad day to a better day.
Time takes care of itself with the appearance of new neighbors – who bring Otto into that better day despite himself. “It’s the last thing he’s anticipating as being the great catalyst for the rest of his days,” says Hanks.
The idea of forging community where you find it with the people who are literally closest to you – your neighbors – seems to be an idea that resonates with Hanks; the last time he filmed in Pittsburgh, it was to bring to life America’s foremost neighbor, Fred Rogers, with his performance in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
“The thing that fills the void in our lives is each other – ourselves – our neighbors,” says Hanks. “Even if you don’t like each other, even if you have great cultural differences, religion or heritage or politics, sooner or later, they’re going to need your help and you’re going to need theirs. If you don’t know how to bleed your radiators, who are you going to turn to? When the tornadoes always hit, what's the first thing that happens? Neighbors come out with chainsaws and U-Hauls. A Man Called Otto puts that idea forward – it is a movie about community and a movie about family.”
“All over the world, people are becoming very divided and polarized. We’re just not connecting with our neighbors, our communities. So I think this story about human connection has never been more relevant,” says Nicastro.
The new family across the street is Marisol (played by Mexican star Mariana Treviño), her husband, Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and their two children, Abbie and Luna (with one on the way). And no matter how cantankerous Otto gets, they keep coming back. “They are not afraid of Otto,” says Hanks. “They have an appreciation for what he brings to the neighborhood and understand that, at the end of the day, he’s a fair guy. I think Otto won the lottery when it comes down to Marisol moving in across the street, because Marisol is curious. She’s gregarious. She’s open-minded. And she is forthright in her affection, even for a guy like Otto.”
“Otto’s relationship with Marisol is the heart of the film,” says Forster. “Marisol is just a wonderful, lovely character. There’s this comedic conflict right away between them, because they’re both very strong characters who don’t take no for an answer – they’re a mirror to each other. And because they’re a mirror to each other, they warm each other up. She really is the key to his heart.”
“Her family brings all of this life, brimming with love and noise and joy and the everyday actions of living, barging into Otto’s closed-in life,” says Treviño. “She’s insistently trying to communicate with him, not in an invasive way, but in a way that makes herself present to connect with people.”
“The way Otto perceives that changes throughout the movie,” Treviño continues, “he doesn’t know how to manage her in the beginning – her no-nonsense, in-your-face frankness of presence. But it’s really just an openness to what life brings. And he starts giving in to this life force.”
Treviño was excited to be a part of the project not only to have the chance to act opposite Hanks, but also because the story’s unique mix of humor and dramatic situations feels drawn from real life. “I think that comedy most of the time comes from a very serious, even painful place – a personal or social wound,” she says. “The comedy and the drama of life is always intermingled, because we’re always fluctuating between those two lines of accepting and healing life.”
Plus, Treviño adds, the characters are drawn in a way that is not overly saccharine or sentimental. “They’re endearing without realizing it,” she says.
“For a director, you feel very blessed when you have two actors who have a true, artistic connection like Tom and Mariana do,” adds Forster. “They elevate what’s on the page and bring magic out onscreen. It makes your heart open, and it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. You can’t ask for more.”
As Tommy, Hanks suggested the actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, who he shared the screen with in Greyhound. As a character actor often called upon to play tough guys – which he does to perfection in movies like The Magnificent Seven and 6 Underground – he embraced the opportunity to play a dad, an IT professional, underneath a big friendly moustache and a mop of curly hair.
“I fell in love with him because he’s such a nice guy,” says Garcia-Rulfo. “He has a huge heart, very committed to his family. He’s one of those characters who thinks he’s very cool and a great handyman when actually he’s very clumsy and not a very useful kind of man, physically. Otto thinks he’s a nitwit but Tommy is amazed by Otto – like when Tommy can’t parallel park the trailer, and Otto does it in one go. For him, Otto is everything.”
As Marisol comes into his life, Otto starts attracting others who need his help. A stray cat barely surviving the winter streets; a teenager – one of Sonya’s former students – kicked out of his home with nowhere else to go. “This is how he makes his peace,” says Hanks. “Marisol is the same sort of agent of change that Sonya was – benevolent and good for Otto even though he's dragged kicking and screaming through it. Just when he thought he was done with this kind of nonsense – the one-damn-thing-after-another that the world is like – these people enter his life and he makes his peace with it.”
“He starts out very bitter – he thinks people are idiots and he’s given up on life. And he goes from that throughout the film to finding new friends and connecting with people in his neighborhood,” says Nicastro. “He comes to a place where he realizes he can use his energy to help other people.”
“Now he has a mangy cat who sleeps on his bed, but he has somebody he can talk to in the morning – something he didn’t realize he was missing – even if it is just a cat,” says Hanks. “He recognizes the goodness of life he's lucky enough to stumble upon it. He certainly did with Sonya.”
The story of the courtship of the young Otto with Sonya is told through flashbacks, with Rachel Keller playing Sonya and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson’s son, Truman Hanks, playing Otto.
The question of who would play the young Otto was a vexing one for Forster. “Marc said that one thing that always throws him out of a movie is when there are flashbacks to a character as a young person, and the younger actor never really looks or behaves enough like the older actor,” says Wilson. “He asked about Tom’s kids, and Colin and Chet are actors, but they’re too old for the role. Truman’s the one who looks the most like Tom at that age, but he’s not an actor. And Marc asked to meet him.”
“Truman and I met in New York, and I felt like I was sitting across from Tom in the late 80s,” says Forster. “It was such a delight. He was so charming, and part of the charm is that he was very clear that he’s not an actor – but at the same time, he’s always been around cameras, so there’s no stage fright. He loves to be behind the camera – he intends to be a DP. We even did a little reading with Rachel and Truman – it was so natural and beautiful. It felt right, organic.”
“It was a unique opportunity,” says Truman. “I mean, I’m in Local 600, the camera union, and Marc yanked me from the camera world and put me on the other side of it. When I was deciding whether to do it, I asked a few friends for advice, and they had a helpful way to think about it: doing the part would help inform my decisions and my camerawork. I would know what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. Because this is a very collaborative art form, it’s enlightening to have been an actor and see what it’s like firsthand.”
Besides, if the neophyte actor needed any advice, who better to go to than his old man? “He would talk to me about different ways to stand and walk,” notes Truman. “Certain mannerisms, like this pointing thing that he was incorporating the character, so that we could create a continuity.”
Rachel Keller, in playing Sonya, says that working opposite Truman made for a delightful change of pace. “The scenes played out genuinely, authentic, as we lived out this gorgeous love story,” she says. “It was just being together.”
Playing Sonya was a chance for Keller to create the lively, magical presence that is missing from Otto’s life as an older man. “She’s so sure of herself, very confident,” says Keller. “He’s taken by that – he sees how bright and lovely she is, and he’s smitten.”
For the filmmakers, framing the flashbacks and the present-day sequences was one of the key creative challenges. “How do we play with the two worlds, the flashbacks of his past, his memories of the joy of his life with Sonya,” says production designer Barbara Ling, who recently won the Oscar® for her design of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.
For A Man Called Otto, Ling would have to design for two eras – the rust oranges and milky greens looks of the 70s and 80s in the scenes that flash back to a younger Otto, which become the lighter, more natural values of those same colors in the present day.
To have those two color palettes co-exist, Forster worked with Ling and the director of photography, Mathias Koenigswieser, to show memories coming alive through reflections and lighting. The idea is that any little thing can spark a memory for Otto. “Mathias worked with the idea of reflection and how things reflect back to each other,” says Ling, “so that you could be in one era, and with the reflections from glass or a mirror, you see the tones of another era. Mathias had a wonderful idea of how to keep those transitions happening, and how we could play off two schemes at the same time.
For a film that is so much about finding community with one’s neighbors, choosing a location for Otto’s home (and, naturally, Marisol and Tommy’s across the street), would be key. “We found a little gem in Pittsburgh,” says Ling. “The neighborhood is beautifully built in what they called mutual housing – houses or apartments all joined together, but feel completely separate. It’s very unique living environment and very visceral to the city.”
For Otto, it’s another reminder of how things are changing beyond his control, with a new row of townhouses being built. “It’s another thing that raises his anger. He feels it’s losing soul, ripping down the good and putting up something much less well-built, much less caring about the environment; it’s just building as many housing projects as you can,” notes Ling.
For the flashback scene in which Otto falls in love-at-first-sight with Sonya as she hurries for a train, the filmmakers sought out a train station that still carried its charm from decades past. “The train station is where they first meet – it was so important that it had a romance to it,” says Ling. “But it’s hard to get train stations anymore. Most of them have been changed into apartment complexes or venues.”
They found the station they were looking for a few hours from Pittsburgh, in Toledo, Ohio. “It was built in 1950, with high hopes of commerce that didn’t quite happen in that area. It looks as if it has never been touched since 1950. It takes your breath away, how beautiful it is. And luckily, Toledo was extremely generous and very happy to have us come film.”
Locations are just the half of it – to film in period requires all kinds of set and costume dressing, including cars. For Ling, not only did the cars have to be Chevys (as if Otto would drive anything else), but they had to match the color palette of the rest of the film.
The limited options tended to be in the hands of very protective owners, but it turns out if you want to get your hands on a classic car, there are two magic words that work like a charm. “We’d say, ‘Can we rent your car?’, and they’d make a noise and say they were the only ones who could drive it. ‘Well, no, you can’t drive it, but don’t worry, Tom Hanks will be driving it.’ And is there any more trusted human being on Earth? ‘Oh, well that would be interesting. All right.’”
Composing the score is 15-time Oscar® nominee Thomas Newman. A key element of Newman’s score is the original song “Til You’re Home,” which Forster asked his producer Rita Wilson to write and perform; Newman incorporates key elements of the melody into the film’s underscore.
Wilson was apprehensive at first, because as the film’s producer, she was reluctant to put Forster in a position where he felt he was forced to use the boss’s song. “I’ve been writing songs for the past ten years and have written songs for independent movies before, and Marc was familiar with my albums. I was humbled and grateful for the opportunity, but I also made him promise to be honest with me if he didn’t want to use it,” says Wilson. “As producer, my first allegiance is to the film and the director’s vision.”
Reflecting on how to express the themes of the film in a song, Wilson recalled a comforting comment from a friend. “When my dad died, a close friend said to me, ‘The conversation continues,’ and that has always stuck in my mind. I wanted to make a song that was evocative of that – a song that could be heard as a conversation two people may be having with each other, even if they’re not in the same room.”
To write the song, Wilson teamed with co-writer David Hodges. “David and I have always been like minded when it comes to what we want to say musically and lyrically,” says Wilson. “This is a movie about the depths of love and how love continues even after a person leaves this Earth. One idea that kept coming up was wanting to tell someone about your day while waiting for them to come home – home being a place of comfort and peace.”
Wilson performs the song as a duet with Sebastian Yarta. “I believed that Otto could be singing this song to his wife, but also she could be singing it to him,” says Wilson. “It was a way for them to be together through the song.”
Because the character of Marisol, along with her husband, Tommy, are so integral to the plot of the film and Otto’s character arc, Wilson saw a unique opportunity to reflect the characters in the song by asking Yarta – whose performance of ‘Dos Oruguitas’ in Encanto has enchanted her – to be her duet partner. “He said yes, but had only one day on his schedule that he could do it. Fortunately, that day was in Los Angeles. The planets aligned.”
Hodges sings an acoustic mix of the song heard in the film. “It’s always special to be a part of writing for a film, and especially one as beautiful as A Man Called Otto,” says Hodges. “When Rita and I started to collaborate for it, each word and melody of Til You’re Home seemed to be waiting for us, like little steps on a path to what the story needed. I’m so excited to finally share one of my favorite songs I’ve ever been a part of writing.”
TOM HANKS (Otto / Producer) is an award-winning actor, producer, and director. One of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Academy Awards® for Best Actor in a Leading Role, he won his first Oscar® in 1994 for his moving portrayal of AIDS-stricken lawyer Andrew Beckett in Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia. The following year, he took home his second Oscar® for his unforgettable performance in the title role of Robert Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globe Awards for both films, as well as a SAG Award for the latter.
Hanks has also been honored with Academy Award® nominations for his performances in Penny Marshall’s Big, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away, and, most recently, for his portrayal of Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. He also won Golden Globes for Big and Cast Away.
In 2013, Hanks starred in the Academy Award®-nominated film Captain Phillips (for which he received Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations), as well as the AFI Movie of the Year Saving Mr. Banks. Four years later, he received his ninth Golden Globe nomination, as well as Best Actor from the National Board of Review, for his work in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award®-nominated film The Post, alongside Meryl Streep.
Most recently, Hanks starred in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, Pinocchio for Disney+, the WWII drama Greyhound for Apple TV+ (which he also wrote), Paul Greengrass’ pre-Civil War drama News of the World, and Apple TV+’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama Finch. He will next be seen in Wes Anderson’s upcoming untitled film.
His other acting credits include the Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachoski film Cloud Atlas; Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; the animated adventure The Polar Express (which he also executive produced and which reunited him with director Robert Zemeckis); the Coen brothers’ The Ladykillers; Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and Catch Me If You Can; Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition; Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile; Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle; Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own; Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Inferno, and Splash; Hologram for a King; Sully; and the computer-animated blockbusters Cars, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4.
In 1996, Hanks made his successful feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do, in which he also starred. He later wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Larry Crowne with Julia Roberts. Under his Playtone banner, founded in 1998 with producing partner Gary Goetzman, Hanks’ additional film producing credits include the smash-hit romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding with Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson, Where the Wild Things Are, The Polar Express, The Ant Bully, Charlie Wilson’s War, Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Great Buck Howard, and Starter for 10.
Hanks’ work on the big screen has translated to success on the small screen as well. Following Apollo 13, he executive produced and hosted the acclaimed HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” also directing one segment and writing several others. His work on the miniseries brought him Emmy, Golden Globe, and Producers Guild Awards, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries.
In 2001, he went on to executive produce his second miniseries for HBO, and first television series under his Playtone banner, “Band of Brothers,” alongside Steven Spielberg. The WWII drama, based on the book Stephen Ambrose, won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Miniseries. Hanks directed one episode of the series and wrote another, earning him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries. He also received another Producers Guild Award for his work on the project. In 2010, he and Spielberg re-teamed for the award-winning HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” for which Hanks once again served as executive producer. The 10-part program won eight Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries, and brought Hanks his fourth PGA Award.
Hanks additional executive producing credits include the HBO miniseries “John Adams” (Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, PGA Award); the HBO political drama “Game Change” (Emmy and Golden Globes Awards for Outstanding Miniseries/Television Film, PGA Award); the HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout (Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series); and hit CNN documentary series “The Sixties” (Emmy Award nomination), “The Seventies” (Emmy Award nomination), “The Eighties,” “The Nineties,” and “The Movies.”
In 2013, Hanks made his Broadway debut in the Nora Ephron-penned play “Lucky Guy.” His performance earned him Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Tony Award nominations.
At the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Hanks was honored with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Hanks has also received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award in 2009, and, in 2014, Hanks received a Kennedy Center Honor.
Mariana Treviño (Marisol) is one of Mexico’s most sought-after comedic figures. In the past few years, she has starred in such films as Eugenio Derbez’ Overboard, alongside Anna Faris; Jose Maria Yazpik’s Polvo, which earned her an Ariel nomination; and Manolo Caro’s comedy classic Perfect Strangers. On the TV side, she can be seen as the main lead in the popular LatAm Netflix soccer show “Club de Cuervos,” we well as recurring roles in Netflix’s “La Casa de las Flores” and “Narcos: Mexico.” Treviño’s filmography proves that she can tackle comedy and drama like no other, and her talent is quickly turning heads in Hollywood.
Rachel Keller (Sonya) can currently be seen as the female lead Samantha in the HBO Max series “Tokyo Vice,” opposite Ansel Elgort. In film, she recently finished filming Butcher’s Crossing opposite Nicolas Cage.
Keller first broke out as Simone Gerhardt in Season 2 of the award-winning series “Fargo.” This led to her starring opposite Dan Stevens in three seasons of Noah Hawley’s FX series “Legion.” A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, Keller now resides in Los Angeles.
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Tommy) stars in the title role of the hit Netflix series “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he grew up on a ranch with a large family, horses and his beloved grandfather who instilled Garcia-Rulfo with a love of film. At the age of 12, he went to the United States to attend school and be immersed in speaking English. He fell in love with acting in a high school theater program and went on to study acting in Los Angeles.
Garcia-Rulfo then moved back to Mexico and landed his first film as the lead in La ultima y nosvamos (One for the Road) directed by Eva Lopez Sanchez, which gave him recognition in the Mexican film community and led to other films such as 180 Grados and La Noche de las Flores. Bless Me, Ultima, directed by Carl Franklin, was Garcia-Rulfo’s first American film. While continuing to star in films and television in Mexico, he also appeared with Jennifer Aniston in “Cake” and had a major recurring role in the From Dusk Till Dawn series from producer/director Robert Rodriguez. In 2016, he played one of his favorite roles in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven. Co-starring opposite Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke, Garcia-Rulfo’s youth riding horses was a valuable skill playing the role of Vasquez.
Other film credits include 6 Underground, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and Murder on the Orient Express. He is currently shooting the second season of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and will next be seen starring in the film Good Savage from writer/director Santiago Mohar Volkow.
With a versatile range of credits to his name, Marc Forster (Director / Executive Producer) has evaded categorization, having helmed a slate of films of varying scale and genres for studios and independents alike, starring many of the industry’s premier talent.
Forster is currently in post-production on White Bird: A Wonder Story, the sequel to the beloved coming of age story Wonder, based on the book by R. J. Palacio and starring Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson. Forster produces and directs the project.
Forster’s most recent film released was Christopher Robin, the live-action Walt Disney Studios box office hit, which he directed from a screenplay penned by Academy Award® winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Academy Award® nominee Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures), and Alex Ross Perry (Queen of the Earth). The film stars Ewan McGregor (Star Wars franchise) as the title character.
Forster’s past projects include the Paramount tentpole hit World War Z, produced by and starring Brad Pitt; the 22nd James Bond franchise installment Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig for Columbia Pictures; and the visually driven obsessive love story All I See Is You, directed from his original screenplay, with Blake Lively (Café Society) and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) starring.
Forster is also co-founder and co-CEO of 2Dux2, an artist-driven transmedia content company created to develop and produce all forms of storytelling across multiple platforms. Forster’s long-time collaborator and partner in this endeavor is co-founder and co-CEO Renée Wolfe. The company’s credits include World War Z, Hand of God, All I See Is You, and Christopher Robin.
Forster’s versatile filmmaking style is reflected throughout his body of work, including the Oscar®-nominated drama Monster’s Ball with Halle Berry, who won for Best Actress, and Finding Neverland, starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Dustin Hoffman, which received seven Oscar® nominations, five Golden Globe nominations, and 11 BAFTA nominations.
Additionally, Forster’s stirring drama The Kite Runner earned an Academy Award® nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, and two BAFTA nominations, and the imaginative comedy Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Queen Latifah, premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival to critical and audience acclaim, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Ferrell.
Born in Germany and raised in Switzerland, Forster came to the United States in 1990 to attend NYU Film School.
David Magee (Screenplay by / Executive Producer) is a veteran screenwriter, his work spanning over 20 years in the entertainment industry including film, theater, and television. In 2004, his first film, Finding Neverland, directed by Marc Forster and starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Adapted Screenplay. The screenplay also received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations and numerous critics’ awards and accolades.
In 2012, he adapted Yann Martel’s acclaimed novel Life of Pi for award winning director Ang Lee. The film went on to be nominated for eleven Academy Awards®, including Best Adapted Screenplay, garnering Magee his second Oscar® nomination as well as nominations from BAFTA , WGA, and USC’s prestigious Scripter Awards. That same year, Magee was also honored with UCLA’s Screenwriter of the Year Award.
Director Rob Marshall tapped Magee to pen the musical Mary Poppins Returns in 2018. The film starred Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda and received four Academy Award® nominations. Magee received the distinguished Humanitas Award for Best Family film for his screenplay. Following that successful collaboration, he teamed up with Marshall again to work on the live action remake of The Little Mermaid, which stars Halle Bailey and is currently set for release in 2023.
Magee’s talent for tapping into the psyche of young audiences and those young at heart led him to write the adaptation of The School of Good and Evil, based on the YA book series by Soman Chainani. The film premiered October 2022, distributed by Netflix and starring Charlize Theron and Michelle Yeoh.
Also this fall, Magee adapted the classic D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and starring Emma Corrin and Jack O'Connell for Netflix. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September and is scheduled for release December 2022.
Upcoming, Magee continues his partnership with Forster with the recent announcement they will team up again with the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic children’s novel The Graveyard Book.
Based in New Jersey, Magee and his wife and business partner, Pam, operate Brass Mantle Entertainment, their writer-focused production company.
Fredrik Backman (based on the novel A Man Called Ove by) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, The Winners, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.
Fredrik Wikström Nicastro (Producer) is one of Scandinavia´s most commercially successful and internationally established feature film producers. His films as producer, executive producer, co-producer, and co-writer on more than 20 features have received two Oscar® nominations, five European Film Award nominations (with one win), 27 Swedish Film Award nominations (11 wins), and numerous additional international awards.
The films include the two-time Oscar®-nominated smash A Man Called Ove and the award winning 2017 opening film of Toronto Film festival Borg vs McEnroe, starring Shia Labeouf and Stellan Skarsgård.
In 2010, Nicastro was the producer and co-writer of the award-winning smash Snabba Cash, which was presented by Martin Scorsese and went on to become a hugely successful franchise, running for more than a decade and resulting in three theatrical films and a long running series on Netflix, overseen by Nicastro as producer/co-writer/executive producer.
Nicastro has been a producer and partner at SF Studios and its subsidiary production company Tre Vänner for 18 years, from 2004 to 2022. During that time, he has launched a remarkable amount of Scandinavian talent onto the international arena, with actors such as Joel Kinnaman, Matias Varela, Sverrir Gudnason, and Evin Ahmad and filmmakers such as Daniel Espinosa, Babak Najafi, Janus Metz, and Ronnie Sandahl. Nicastro has also developed and overseen several long running successful franchises and established a successful international film production division.
Rita Wilson (Producer) is a multi-talented actress, producer, and singer/songwriter. In 2019, she received a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame celebrating her rich and notable film career; she was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 2021.
Wilson has starred in over 30 feature films, including Sleepless in Seattle, It’s Complicated, Mixed Nuts, Now and Then, That Thing You Do!, Jingle All The Way, Psycho, Runaway Bride, Invisible Child, The Story of Us, Auto Focus, Raise Your Voice, The Chumscrubber, Beautiful Ohio, My Life in Ruins, Old Dogs, Boy Genius, Gloria Bell, A Simple Wedding, and Emmett among others. Her TV resume spans over 30 hit shows, including “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Good Wife,” “Girls,” and many more. Most recently she made appearances in “1883” with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and Kimi, a thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and written and produced by David Koepp.
Wilson first donned her producer’s cap for the record-breaking box-office hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding and returned as a producer as well as appearing in its sequels, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and the upcoming My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. Her instincts proved solid once again when she saw the theatrical production of “Mamma Mia!” in London shortly after it opened, with her love of ABBA’s music driving her to secure the rights and develop the film, which was filmed on location in Greece. She served as a producer on the 2008 Universal hit that starred Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, and served as executive producer for its sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
Wilson has just announced her new film production company, Artistic Films™. Based in Los Angeles, Artistic Films’™ first project is A Man Called Otto, in collaboration with Playtone and SF Studios. Artistic Films’™ mission is to tell inspirational stories of hope that resonate with audiences across wide demographics. A Man Called Otto leads the way for the company’s vision to bring to life uplifting and transformative screenplays through the power of film. Wilson comments, “The films that I love bring people joy and allow us to have an emotional experience whether it’s through comedy, drama or, sometimes, both. Connection, the things that unite us, rather than separate us, is what inspires me. Artistic Films will look to create movies that explore our common human experiences.”
Wilson’s own music has been hailed as “inspiring” by Rolling Stone, “uplifting” by USA Today and “powerful” by Newsweek, among other critical acclaim. She has toured the world over performing on such iconic stages as the Grand Ole Opry, The Sydney Opera House, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as coveted slots at music festivals including Stagecoach and CMA Fest. Her five acclaimed studio albums include her latest star-studded release, “Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets,” featuring Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Jackson Browne, Tim McGraw, Elvis Costello, Keith Urban, Leslie Odom, Jr., Josh Groban, Vince Gill, and Jimmie Allen.
With a successful track record marrying her love of music and film, Wilson has been recognized for multiple projects, most recently with “Til You’re Home” from a A Man Called Otto with Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Sebastián Yatra, which was nominated Best Song in a Film (Independent) at the 2022 Hollywood in Music Media Awards. Others include “Everybody Cries” from The Outpost, which won the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Outstanding Song for Independent Film and was also nominated for Best Song by the Critic’s Choice Awards; “Because Love,” the theme from Love is Love is Love; “Even More Mine” from My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2; “Heart Unknown” from A Simple Wedding; “Sometimes Love” from Boy Genius; and “Bad Things” with Matt Nathanson from Dawn Patrol.
GARY GOETZMAN’s (Producer) producing credits include News of the World, Greyhound, Mamma Mia!, Where the Wild Things Are, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Polar Express, Larry Crowne, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, That Thing You Do!, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Beloved, Miami Blues, Starter for 10, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Ricki and the Flash, The Circle, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, A Hologram for the King, The Great Buck Howard, The Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, the 3-D IMAX film Magnificent Desolation, Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field for HBO films, the Primetime Emmy Award-winning miniseries “John Adams,” “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific,” and “Olive Kitteridge,” the Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning HBO film Game Change, the Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated series “Big Love,” several HBO special events, including the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert, the 2012-2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, and the Concert for Valor, “My Gift: A Carrie Underwood Christmas Special” for HBO Max, and the CNN docuseries “The Movies,” “The Sixties,” “The Seventies,” “The Eighties,” “The Nineties,” “The 2000s,” and the four-part documentary special “1968.”
Currently, Goetzman is producing the limited series event “Masters of the Air” for Apple TV+, “The 2010s” for CNN, the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, and the film adaptations of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Spring Awakening.
Writer, producer, and director Renée Wolfe (Executive Producer) is most recently known for such award-winning films as World War Z (Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos), Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), and White Bird: A Wonder Story (Hellen Mirren, Gillian Anderson). Wolfe is the co-CEO and co-founder of the production company 2DUX2, which she shares with long-time partner, film director Marc Forster. They write and create under the moniker of Wolfe & Forster.
Wolfe studied film at NYU and the San Francisco Art Institute. Her earliest film mentorships were under the guidance of Bernardo Bertolucci and Gordon Parks where she learned about the nuances of storytelling, framing, light, and shadow from two great masters of filmmaking.
Wolfe’s directing work first came to the attention of film critics with her debut feature Sueño (John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Peña). The film was released by Sony in 2005 and although only a rough cut, was hailed by audiences as ahead of its time as it was a musical that featured an all-Latino cast. Kevin Thomas of the LA Times called Sueño “a sweet-natured film, steeped in richly varied and seductive Latin music.” The Hollywood Reporter wrote that it had “a warm affection for its music and thoughtful performances from leads Leguizamo and Peña.” Sueño was the opening night or closing ceremony film at numerous prestigious Latino film festivals including NY, Miami, SF, and Morella.
Under Wolfe’s leadership, 2DUX2 has developed and produced TV, feature films, and transmedia projects for wide and diverse audiences. The company has grossed over 730 million dollars in international box office revenue and the duo of Wolfe & Forster continue to grow their roster. They currently have offices in Los Angeles and plan to expand into the UK.
Wolfe currently is finishing her novel The Hundredth Monkey, a YA sci-fi. Additionally, she has completed scripts for the TV series “Whisky Wars” and the period drama “The Reunion.” Wolfe and Forster are currently scripting QT54, a sci-fi centering on artificial intelligence.
LOUISE ROSNER (Executive Producer) most recently executive produced John Wick: Chapter 4 starring Keanu Reeves.
Rosner also served as the executive producer on the award winning hit The Big Short directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell and Brad Pitt, and the worldwide blockbuster hits The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
She executive produced the Sony Pictures/Marvel movie Morbius starring Jarad Leto, the musical Cinderella starring Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel and Pierce Brosnan, and Alpha, an epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, directed by Albert Hughes. Her credits also include Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra, the Sacha Baron Cohen action-comedy The Brothers Grimsby, Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerard Butler, The Goods, produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, and Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Baby Mama marked Rosner’s second collaboration with Fey and third collaboration with Lorne Michaels. Other executive producer credits include Paparazzi, Firestorm, and On the Line.
In 2004, Rosner co-produced Fey’s critical and box-office smash Mean Girls. She also co-produced Hot Rod starring Andy Samberg; Fracture with Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins; Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah; Get Over It with Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster; Boys and Girls with Freddie Prinze, Jr.; and the teen favorite She’s All That.
Rosner produced The Last Time I Committed Suicide with Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves and Adrian Brody, as well as the Adam Rifkin comedy Denial. Early in her career, she line produced A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.
Rosner served as the president of production at Jeff Robinov’s company Studio 8 form 2016-2018.
She cut her teeth as a production coordinator on several major projects, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Crush, Imaginary Crimes, and Silent Fall.
Michael Porseryd (Executive Producer) started his career in 1994 with Modern Times Group MTG AB (today Viaplay Group/NENT), where he stayed for ten years. Porseryd held several senior positions within MTG, such as Country Manager Broadcasting Sweden, MD of DTH-platform Viasat, Program Director of TV3, and President of MTG Publishing, and was part of the MTG executive management team.
In August 2004, Porseryd took the role as CEO of Sweden’s largest media agency, WPP owned MEC.
Early in 2006, Porseryd joined the Metronome Group (today Banijay/Endemol Shine Nordics), the largest TV and drama production house in the Nordics, as Executive Vice President and COO.
In 2010, Porseryd started up and took the role as CEO of Endemol in the Nordics (today part of Banijay/Endemol Shine Nordics).
In late 2016, Porseryd took over as CEO of SF Studios, the leading studio business in the Nordics, with offices in Sweden, Norway, Demark, Finland, and the UK. SF Studios has a legacy that includes three Academy Award® wins, production of seven of the en most-seen Swedish films of all time, and the films from Ingmar Bergman and Astrid Lindgren.
Tim King (Executive Producer) is EVP Production at SF Studios, leading SF’s Production Division across Scandinavia and the English speaking world. SF produces approximately 15 projects a year, combining both feature films and TV series. Notable titles over his 7 years at SF include Borg vs McEnroe, “Snabba Cash” seasons 1 and 2, and Margrete: Queen of the North.
STEVEN SHARESHIAN (Executive Producer) was co-executive producer on “Olive Kitteridge,” based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Elizabeth Strout, directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Frances McDormand, which won eight Emmy Awards including Outstanding Limited Series.
Recently, he was executive producer on the feature News of the World, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. His other credits include Greyhound (executive producer), “John Adams” (producer), “The Pacific” (producer), Game Change (Co-Executive Producer) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (executive producer).
He’s currently working as co-executive producer on the upcoming WWII Apple series “Masters of the Air,” executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman and starring Austin Butler and Callum Turner.
Celia Costas (Executive Producer) is a New York based executive producer in both feature films and television. At present, she is the executive producer on The Instigators, directed by Doug Liman and starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.
Previous to that, she produced Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut Tick Tick Boom (Netflix), the limited series “The Undoing” (HBO), A Quiet Place (Paramount), The Intern (Warner Bros.), The Girl On the Train (Dreamworks), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Bros), Doubt (Disney), Wall Street/Money Never Sleeps (Warner Bros.), and many other projects.
Over the years, Costas has worked in varying capacities on over 30 additional films, including Zoolander, Private Parts, Meet Joe Black, Presumed Innocent, The Pelican Brief, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Sophie's Choice.
Costas has won two Emmy awards, for Angels in America directed by Mike Nichols, and Warm Springs directed by Joseph Sargent. Both were for HBO.
Neda Backman (Executive Producer) was born in Iran but came to Sweden as a child. She grew up with a dad who was a director, and studied film herself, but made her own career in the sales industry of radio and cinema. In 2017, she took over management of her husband Fredrik Backman's career and started her own production company, Neda Production. To date, she has been an executive producer for the Netflix show "Anxious People” along with two theater productions and several upcoming international projects.
Tor Jonasson (Executive Producer) is a Stockholm based literary agent at Salomonsson Agency, Scandinavia’s leading literary agency. Jonasson has acted as executive producer on multiple movies and TV-series during his 15 years at the agency; projects include the award-winning movie Purge, based on Sofi Oksanen’s breakthrough novel; the Netflix series “Anxious People,” and HBO’s “Beartown” – both based on Fredrik Backman’s bestselling books; and seasons 1 and 2 of “Top Dog,” a television series based on Jens Lapidus bestseller.
MATTHIAS KOENIGSWIESER’s (Director of Photography) career can only be described as meteoric. His early commercial, music video and documentary work includes collaborations with Alma Har'el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue), Benito Montorio, David Edwards, Paul Minor, and Vincent Haycock. In addition, he has collaborated with commercial directors Henry Alex Rubin, Thirtytwo, Gustav Johansson, and David Edwards. All of this immediately caught the attention of first time film director Saar Klein (Terrence Malick’s editor), which led to Saar and Koenigswieser’s collaboration on After the Fall. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival where it was nominated for Best First Feature, and its U.S. premiere at SXSW 2014 where it was nominated for the Audience Award. Koenigswieser was also nominated at Camerimage for Best Cinematography Debut. Shortly after the SXSW screening in Austin, the film was shown to director Marc Forster for consideration on his Amazon series “Hand of God,” and Koenigswieser went on to shoot the pilot episode. He shot Forster’s feature All I See is You, starring Blake Lively and Jason Clarke. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and was selected to screen at Camerimage this year as part of the Cinematographers’ Debut Category within the Feature Debuts Competition. Koenigswieser also recently shot and produced the independent film Puberty with Flying Lotus and director Eddie Alcazar for Brainfeeder. Koenigswieser recent works include Disney’s Christopher Robin for Marc Forster.
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