‘A Hologram For The King’: Tom Hanks’ Midlife Crisis

Can Tom Hanks do any wrong with his films lately? His latest midlife crisis film seems to hint at his immortality and timelessness as an actor. He most recently starred in a comedic, but inspiring film called A Hologram for the King, which is based on the book published by Dave Eggers in 2012.

This film is an independent drama about a middle-aged American businessman who takes a business trip to Saudi Arabia where he hopes to sell a holographic meeting system to the king.

Of course, like all touching dramas, he discovers much more than a few good business ventures. He gains new methods for making friends, doing business, integrating across cultures, and a possible love. To see for yourself what the film has to offer, watch the official trailer below.

What makes the film so intriguing is how relatable it is to many people in the main character’s situation. Tom Hanks plays a divorced dad struggling to pay his daughter’s tuition and wondering if his life has come to a dead end. It’s a phase countless people go through at one point in their lives before they discover what they have left to offer.

This film represents the ultimate midlife crisis, and Tom himself agrees that it was relatable for him as well. As one of the most well-known and successful actors of our time, Hanks admits that he was right at home in the 90’s, but now things are a little different.

“I was raised on Disney, and I peaked in the ’90s,” he told John Oliver during an exclusive interview. That was the time when he was making the most out of his filming career. His biggest hits by far were during that decade, including Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Toy Story, That Thing You Do!, Saving Private Ryan, You’ve Got Mail, The Green Mile, and then at the turn of the century, Castaway.

He’s been in plenty of movies since that time, but the pictures are fewer and farther in between, and they’ve received a fraction of the acclaim of his ’90s films.

Tom Hanks shared some of his deeper thoughts on where he's at in his career in an interview with John Oliver. Things are taking on a slightly different turn with the 59-year-old, two-time Oscar winning actor. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

With Hanks’s newest film, A Hologram for the King, we see a glimpse of what might be described as not only the protagonist’s midlife crisis, but also Tom’s. This film is a different character than he’s ever done, and the premise is a little more unique with stranger elements.

In addition, most of what we hear from Hanks now is what he’s produced rather than what he’s acting in. He’s been the executive producer for countless films over the last decade, including Ithaca, Electric City, The Assassination of President Kennedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and the mini-series Lewis and Clark.

Hanks has never admitted to going through an actual midlife crisis, but the amount of time he’s spent on ventures other than acting in the past few years hints that he might be looking to take a different direction with his life. Perhaps acting isn’t what makes him tick anymore, and he’s looking for a new pastime to keep him busy and entertained.

Tom’s character in A Hologram for the King takes on what can only be described as an anxious journey of self-discovery for a middle-aged man. At 59-years-old, Hanks is at the perfect age to be going through the same thing. Now that he’s dabbling more in production than acting, he may be on a similar road to self-discovery.

Right now, it’s not clear where the actor and producer stands as far as his career, but it begs the question: Will we be seeing the name Tom Hanks in the acting credits less and less as time goes on?

[Image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]