The Completely Random Biopic Tom Hanks Is Dying To Make

In a recent interview with Collider, Tom Hanks told Steve Weintraub that he’d really like to do a biopic about Dean Reed. Dean who? Well, according to Hanks, Dean Reed was a handsome pop singer who never really made it big in the United States. However, his music became popular in Latin America. “And when he went down there, he was celebrated like he was Elvis Presley himself,” Hanks said. “And because he had these socialist leanings, he went off and became a superstar as an American rock star who decided to become a communist behind the Iron Curtain.”

Reed’s leftist sympathies developed in Latin America. After learning Spanish, he left his native Colorado and went on to record, perform, and protest US foreign policy in South America. In the 1970s he settled in East Germany. He lived there until 1986, when he was found drowned in a lake near his home six weeks after a controversial appearance on the CBS series 60 Minutes. Though ruled coincidental, speculation that it could have been homicide has raged for decades (via NPR).

Hanks continued, “And I asked people from Russia and Poland and said, ‘Do you know this American singer, actor named Dean Reed?’ And they’ll say, “Oh yeah, Dean Reed. He was huge. He was the American we all knew.” And I would love to make a film about this guy. Difficult to make.” Still, if there was a time to make this film, it’s now. Last January, the documentary “Red Elvis: The Cold War Cowboy,” co-produced by Reed’s daughter Ramona Reed (via Deadline), was released. When the iron gets hot, Hanks might want to hit it soon.

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