From Marc Forster, director of Oscar-nominated films (Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner) and blockbuster movies (Quantum of Solace, World War Z) comes the inspiring tale, A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks.
Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove, A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol – she challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
“Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor. He’s an icon,” says Marc Forster, who directs the film. “He’s extraordinary. Every role he plays, you believe him in it, because he has this incredible heart so you can relate to him. He comes from comedy and is very good in physical comedy, it’s brilliant how he moves and his timing – but at the same time he’s extraordinary as a dramatic actor. In this role, he merges these two skillsets, and that makes Otto unique. You feel him, you laugh at him, you laugh with him, and you cry for what he is going through.”
Executive producer Renée Wolfe, who is Marc Forster’s producing partner, says that it is that mix of comedy and big questions that appealed to the director, after previously helming such varied projects from Finding Neverland to the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. “Marc excels at working with actors to bring out the truth and the honesty of a scene,” says executive producer Renée Wolfe. “To watch him and Tom work together to continually evolve the character of Otto, both in a comedic and dramatic sense, was a pure joy. Tom and Marc shared a common creative language on set that was absolutely beautiful to witness.”
“It’s not easy to make a story that is both personal and at the same time speaks to a universal audience,” Wolfe continues. “In a sense, the character of Otto is a little bit like every one of us. Somewhat Chaplin-like, Otto resonates what much of the world is feeling today – a sense of wanting to connect to each other but not knowing where to start. That’s Marc’s special gift. He saw right away that even though A Man Called Otto is a character study at heart, it was also a story that would speak to audiences everywhere.”
“The comedic elements of the story resonate with all of us because they are so funny and so human,” concludes Forster. “We all get angry sometimes, and we can see that in Otto. How many people get road rage? That’s not so far from Otto himself.”