It has been 11 years since Steven Spielberg directed Tom Hanks in a feature film, but the oft-connected collaborators will reunite in October for Bridge of Spies, Spielberg’s Cold War drama about a Brooklyn insurance claims lawyer tasked with negotiating the release of a captured American U-2 spy plane pilot.
“I think the character that Tom Hanks plays, James B. Donovan, he was what you would call the Standing Man,” Spielberg said in a production feature for the film, which has its new trailer – aptly titled “Standing Man” – debuting above. “The stand-up kind of guy who stands up for what he believes in to be a universal truth, which is basically justice for all – regardless of what side of the Iron Curtain you are on. He was only interested in the letter of the law.”
Set during the 1950s, Bridge of Spies focuses on Donovan and his interactions with a captured Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), amid the heightened stakes of post-World War II society. It’s Abel who takes to calling Donovan the Standing Man, as he reminds the captured Soviet of a man from his childhood. “This man, my father’s friend, he was beaten. Every time they hit him, he stood back up again,” Abel says during the trailer. “They hit him harder, still he got back to his feet. I think because of this they let him live.”
“I thought Tom was the obvious choice to play Donovan,” Spielberg continued. “Tom’s own morality and his own sense of equality and fairness, and the fact that Tom does such good things in the world, by using, wisely, his celebrity and intelligence and points of view – he has so many of them – that I thought it was a good fit to play Donovan.”
Also starring Amy Ryan, and written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, Bridge of Spies will have its world premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival before bowing in theaters on Oct. 16. Check out the exclusive new trailer for the film above.