Mar 4, 2015

Steven Spielberg's Spy Movie Gets a Title

According /film (via Dark Horizons), Steven Spielberg's forthcoming Cold War spy movie starring Tom Hanks finally has a title. The project, which went all the way through shooting as "Untitled Cold War Spy Movie" or sometimes the code name "St. James Place," will apparently be called The Bridge of Spies. As far as I know, though, the film isn't based on Giles Whittel's 2010 nonfiction book of that name, though the book covers some of the same people and events as the fact-based film. Spielberg's Bridge of Spies tells the story of CIA lawyer James Donovan (Hanks), who is sent behind the Iron Curtain to negotiate the release of captured U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose spy plane was shot down in 1960 over Russia. Donovan's efforts led to a famous spy swap in 1962 on the titular bridge, which served that function on multiple occasions owing to its strategic location spanning from West Berlin to Potsdam in East Germany. These events and locations certainly have all the makings of a first class spy movie. Spielberg directs from a script by the Matt Charman (Black Work) and the Coen Brothers (Burn After Reading), and the director's regular collaborator John Williams has been confirmed to score. The impressive cast includes Alan Alda (The Blacklist), Amy Ryan (Green Zone), Mark Rylance (The Gunman) and Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others). Bridge of Spies is set to open this fall.


Quiller said...

James Donovan, whom Hanks is portraying in the film, wrote his own account of the exchange and his role in it, titled Strangers on a Bridge. By pure chance I came across a copy some years back in a used bookstore, and thought to myself, "Hmmm, might be a movie in this." At the time, I had no idea that Spielberg and Hanks had their own telling of the tale in the works. Guess I should have become a famous movie star/director a long time ago. :)

Anyway, Strangers on a Bridge would also make a great, Hitchcockian title, but Bridge of Spies isn't without its own retro charm. The nationalist American in me wishes Spielberg would direct a period spy thriller about a professional American spy, since when he took on the subject of Israel's covert war against terrorism he produced a masterpiece of the true spy genre, Munich. But I'm pleased to have this movie on its way all the same.

Tanner said...

Very interesting! I didn't know that. That would, indeed, have made a great title too. But I do think Bridge of Spies is a GREAT title, the only problem with it being that it's been used. In that book, as an I Spy episode... and it's very similar to the title of Olen Steinhauer's first spy novel Bridge of Sighs. But it's still a great title!

Yeah, I'd love to see Spielberg tackle a full-on American agent. He toyed with the idea of directing the Matt Helm reboot at one point, which would have been so cool to see. I know, I know, Helm isn't really a SPY, more of an assassin, but he's as much spy as James Bond, so colloquially I think the term applies. He's probably the closest thing to a real American James Bond, and it would have been great to see what Spielberg did with Hamilton's material. And what Williams did with the music!