In a world of actors who have graced the screens to bring stories to life, a handful were able to extend their creativity in the world of books. Tom Hanks displays incredible writing prowess in his latest best-selling book, “The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece.”
Tom Hanks isn’t the only actor who dabbled as an author. Many who were a part of Hollywood came to find writing to share their stories and ideas on their own terms.
However, only very few do it well—at least to some critics. While Tom has relative experience in publishing, like getting his story published in The New Yorker, he has yet to publish a book that goes beyond short stories, which is generally well-received.
The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece Book Summary:
“The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece” is Tom Hanks’s debut novel. In the story, we are introduced to Bob, a World War II veteran who finds it challenging to adjust to civilian life after serving on the battlefields.
Years later, in 1970, his nephew, Robby Andersen, created a successful comic book series inspired by Bob’s experiences wielding a flamethrower in the Pacific theater.
After being introduced to these characters, Hanks brings us to present-day Hollywood. Bill Johnson, by chance, finds Andersen’s comic series and decides to make a superhero film based on its contents.
Thus, “Knightshade: The Lathe of Firefall” will soon come to theaters.
Readers are introduced to various colorful characters in the story. With an egotistical male lead and a beautiful yet charismatic female lead—it’s almost expected that this Marvel-esque project will make a massive profit at the box office while also providing intrigue thanks to the marketing machinations in the movie in the movie industry’s belly. If Johnson has the backing of powerhouses, ala kevin Feige, he may even make a successful “cinematic universe.”
Of course, we must start small.
With the leads decided, the director decided to start shooting in Andersen’s hometown of Lone Butte, California. Unfortunately, production issues arise when a marital problem, an unexpected death, and an insidious stalker come into the midst. With problems seemingly arising from every corner, can the ambitious director Johnson deliver?
What Can We Expect from the Book:
Considering these factors, we can hypothesize how the plot and details will go.
Will we get an insider’s look at how movies are made? Can we expect some of these characters to be based on real people? Is the director someone that Hanks has worked with personally? Is this a satire of Hollywood meritocracy and the treatment of artists as a machine?
To answer some of these questions:
1. Sort of. It’s written by Tom Hanks, after all.
2. Maybe, but dropping names is generally frowned upon unless you follow it with an “allegedly” or drop hints on a Blind Items website. If you’re expecting “juicy gossip” in this novel, you’ll certainly be disappointed.
3. With his experience, it’s almost expected, but again, refer to #2.
4. Sadly, no.
The story has potential, and you can expect Tom Hanks to create at least fascinating stories. Still, his book is an ambitious attempt where it hit some snags. Whether it’s because Tom Hanks is an A-list superstar who has forgotten how the current movie industry is struggling due to the writer’s strike or the fact that the “movie star” is a thing of the past, he seems to have focused on writing about the daily lives of the key players in the Hollywood machine instead of the classic gist of “Reality can sometimes be stranger than fiction.”
Nevertheless, it’s not all snags. Tom Hanks is charming, both on-screen and off-screen, and while fans may not expect a cohesive narrative of the Hollywood machine told through the eyes of an average Joe, we can at least commend Hanks’ ability to create charming characters—whether they’re based on real people or not.
Another thing we must commend Hanks for is his insights on how comic books inspired the current movie industry today. As some fans may know, comics have been a part of American pop culture, which reached its peak popularity in the 1930s–1940s. While the material source for the book’s movie was published in the 1970s, it’s clear that comic books still impact today’s youth culture, primarily since many of the biggest blockbuster hits were derived from the same source.
What’s more, Hanks also includes these comics that inspired the book’s movie, creating a clever official tie-in to the novel’s “major-motion masterpiece.” So, while people may expect a simple fiction story about the magic behind movie-making, the author delivers something quite unexpected with tie-in material, making it almost script-like in paper.
With all these features in mind, it’s safe to say that you won’t be bored. With such an exciting bunch of characters or “cast,” it’s almost expected that Hanks will write something we can all enjoy. Considering this is the man who has graced the movie screen for decades, he certainly has some insight into what makes a compelling story. He can undoubtedly show a few of us how it’s done.
Who Would Like This Book?
Overall, The Making of Another Major Motion Pircture Masterpiece is a fine book to read if you’re a fan of Tom Hanks, the actor. If you liked his collection of short stories, you might find some issues with his debut novel. While we can’t expect Hanks to become the next Hemingway, “Masterpiece” does offer something that most actors/writers won’t venture to: A look into how a movie juggernaut is made if every character was a character instead of a person.
Whether you decide that offer is a positive or negative thing is up to you. Frankly, it’s a good thing. After all, the great thing about Hollywood is that everything is made up, even if the actors themselves are still very much “real people.”
In summary, “Masterpiece” is a fascinating, risky, yet ultimately imperfect debut novel. If you want to know how a Hollywood movie is made, this book can be a great starter, but you won’t find what you need. Still, it’s all in good fun.