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How Tom Hanks' New Movie Broke His Heart

America's Dad has got a case of the blues over his new movie.

Tom Hanks, star of the upcoming World War II drama Greyhound, recently sat down with The Guardian to discuss the flick. It's one that he's obviously proud of, and thinks that everyone should see — he just wishes they could see it in the theater. 

Hanks is dutifully making his (virtual) promotional rounds for the movie, which tells the story of the fictional Commander Ernest Krause, an inexperienced leader who finds himself in a sticky situation during the early days of the war. He is tasked with leading a force of a few dozen Allied vessels which are to escort a vulnerable merchant ship along a dangerous Northern Atlantic trade route — with a deadly pack of Nazi U-boats hot on their trail.

Much like he did in the excellent Captain Phillips, Hanks portrays a principled authority figure navigating a dangerous situation in the face of crippling self-doubt while having to make impossible decisions. We know the actor can crush roles of this very type, because we've seen him do it before. We also know it's a story that must have had a great deal of personal resonance for Hanks — not only because he's shown an affinity for telling World War II-themed stories for literally decades now, but because he actually wrote the screenplay for Greyhound (adapted from the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester), marking only the third time in his long career he has done so.

Like about a million other movies, Greyhound was yanked from its planned summer 2020 theatrical release due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple ponied up an obscene amount of money for the flick's distribution rights, reported to be in the neighborhood of $70 million (via Deadline), in an apparent effort to boost the fortunes of its streaming platform — and Hanks, for one, isn't a big fan of the deal, as he feels the movie needs to be seen on the big screen.

Tom Hanks isn't thrilled with Greyhound releasing directly to streaming

During his chat with The Guardian, Hanks indicated that Greyhound had taken quite some time — the better part of a decade — to come together, and it's understandable that he would have been looking forward to sharing such a labor of love with as wide an audience as possible. It also stands to reason that its potential audience shrunk considerably the moment it became an Apple TV+ exclusive. In its first eight months, the streamer has failed to rack up the subscribers, and — since the purchase of any new Apple product nets you a free subscription for a year — a significant amount of those who have subscribed to the service aren't paying.

Since Apple doesn't release viewership numbers, it's also unclear how many of those subscribers are actually watching the streamer — but it's pretty darned likely that if COVID-19 hadn't been a factor, Greyhound, with its modest $50 million budget and Hanks' star power, could have been a huge theatrical hit. These weren't the things sticking in the actor's craw, though — he found it to be "an absolute heartbreak" that the war epic would be robbed of its grand scale on the small screen.

"I don't mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality," Hanks said, before proceeding to further risk incurring the wrath of the "cruel whipmasters at Apple" by complaining about the tech giant's insistence that he use a plain white wall as the backdrop for his interview, which he said made him look like he was in "a witness protection program."

Well, we're glad to see that the situation hasn't dampened Hanks' sense of humor — nor has his bout with COVID, from which he says he and his wife Rita Wilson are recovering nicely. If you're an Apple TV+ subscriber, do America's Dad a solid and watch Greyhound on the biggest, best screen possible — it hits the streamer on July 10.