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The Completely Random Biopic Tom Hanks Is Dying To Make

Tom Hanks loves rock and roll, and he seems to love the history of rock and roll about as much as he likes making movies about it. This likely clicks for anyone who has watched his turn in "Elvis." His description of Colonel Tom Parker, the character he plays in the biopic, shows that this is an actor who has done his homework.

The love runs deeper than mere portrayal, though. His 2008 speech inducting the Dave Clark Five into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sounds more like someone sharing a religious experience than a fan praising a favorite band. Beyond that, Hanks made his debut as a screenwriter and director in the 1996 film "That Thing You Do!" (per IMDb). That film, which followed the rise of 1960's rock band the Wonders to the top of the charts before a deflating break-up, was critically acclaimed at the time. It even garnered an Oscar nod for best original song — which makes sense considering how maddeningly catchy it is.

Though "That Thing You Do!" was fiction, it bore the marks of countless American one-hit wonders (get it?) that disappeared as abruptly as they appeared during the height of the British Invasion (via Pitchfork). In other words, Hanks knows his '60s rock and roll, not just its broad strokes but its deep cuts. And it shows up in his own rock and roll movie passion project.

Tom Hanks wants to make a biopic about Comrade Rockstar Dean Reed

In a recent interview with Collider, Tom Hanks told Steve Weintraub that he would really like to do a biopic about Dean Reed. Dean who? Well, according to Hanks, Dean Reed was a handsome pop singer who never quite made it big in the United States. His music did become popular, however, in Latin America. "And when he went down there, he was celebrated as though he himself was Elvis Presley," said Hanks. "And because he had these socialist inclinations, he went off and became a superstar as an American rockstar 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 continued to record, perform, and protest U.S. foreign policy in South America. In the '70s, he settled in East Germany. He lived there until 1986, when, six weeks after a controversial appearance on the CBS series "60 Minutes," he was found drowned in a lake near his home. Though ruled accidental, speculation has swirled for decades that it may have been murder (via NPR).

Hanks continued: "And I have asked people from Russia and Poland and said, 'Are you familiar with the American singer, actor by the name of Dean Reed?' And they'll say, 'Oh yeah, Dean Reed. He was huge. He was the American that we all knew.' And I would love to make a movie about that guy. Hard to do." Still, if there was a time to make that movie, now is it. This past January saw the release of the documentary "Red Elvis: The Cold War Cowboy," co-produced by Reed's daughter, Ramona Reed (via Deadline). If the iron is heating up, Hanks may want to strike soon.