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The 2020 Tom Hanks Hit That Most People Don't Even Know About

Nothing in life is certain. To say that the sun will rise tomorrow morning is an inference, not truth. We might run out of oil tomorrow. A supervolcano could appear out of nowhere. Every ant in the world could decide, as one, that they're done living in fear of magnifying glasses and destroy the foundations of all man-made structures in a single day. From a scientific perspective, however, there is one thing we can truly count on, and that's Tom Hanks, when cast in the starring role of a movie about America in the mid-20th century, generally getting the studio its money back.

Which is why it's such a mystery, perhaps even a sign of the end times, that nobody's talking about Greyhound. The 2020 motion picture sees America's adoptive father as the commanding officer of a World War II-era destroyer called the USS Keeling during the Battle of the Atlantic. Written by Hanks and based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd, it's basically what would happen if you asked one of those Minority Report precogs to predict what kinds of movies Tom Hanks would be making in his 60s.

Distributed by Sony Pictures under their Columbia banner, Greyhound was all set up for a wide theatrical release in March of 2020. Then it was pushed back to May of 2020. Then June of 2020. Then, like everything that isn't Tenet or, against all odds, The New Mutants, it surrendered to the reality of current events and went straight to digital, dropping as an Apple TV+ exclusive release on July 10th.

Nothing runs like Greyhound on Apple TV+

Greyhound was one of a slate of big name releases delayed by Sony this year, and the first to be sacrificed to streaming services. Their other A-list entries pulled from the summer schedule include Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Morbius, the latest addition to the studio's Spider-Verse. Both have been pushed back to tentative 2021 release dates.

While a Tom Hanks blockbuster going straight to on-demand might read as a disconcerting glimpse at the state of the film industry, one group is at least a little delighted by the development: The folks at Apple TV+. According to Deadline, the naval drama "torpedoed" (see what they did there?) the platform's still nascent opening-weekend records. Characteristically for streaming services, the company was hesitant to release firm numbers, but compared viewership to that of "a summer theatrical box office big hit."

Reviews, meanwhile, were generally positive. Rotten Tomatoes pinned Greyhound with a Certified Fresh rating, with 79% of critics voicing favorable opinions. Praise was heaped on the economical use of script during a relatively scant 90 minute runtime, as well as Hanks' trademark ability to elevate an everyman role, resulting in a "towering performance."

In the film, Tom Hanks' character is in the midst of his first wartime command, escorting allied vessels across the Atlantic while being pursued by German U-boats. Greyhound also features Stephen Graham (The Irishman), Elisabeth Shue (everything from the 1980s), and Rob Morgan (Turk from all of the Netflix/Marvel collaborations.)