Back in the early days of the film’s development, its three directors/writers Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer received terrifying news as they drove to Hanks’ house in an attempt to woo him to take an acting role.
Lana Wachowski got a phone call from a Warner Bros. exec who said, “We don’t want to be in on this movie, after all. We’re taking back our offer.”
“OK, so we have to go and convince Tom Hanks to be in this movie for no money and it’s actually just been killed,” she tells Gold Derby, recalling their desperation. “Even though we were destroyed by this information, Tom Hanks, in this meeting, in this very first meeting, said, ‘This sounds great. I’m in! When do we start?’ …. It gave us life again. We were resurrected in the span of that two-hour meeting.”
“We walked in and the movie was dead,” adds Tykwer, “and we walked out and we knew we were going to make it.”