Tom Hanks thinks he’s only made four “pretty good” movies

In an interview about the new novel which he has written, Tom Hanks says that only four of the movies he has made are "pretty good," prompting speculation

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Tom Hanks is moving from movie-making to novel-writing, but he’s not straying far from Hollywood. The book is called The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, but it’s not a memoir, autobiography, or based on a true story. It’s set in three time-periods – the 1940s, 1970s, and present day.

Hanks has also prompted speculation by telling People that he’s only made four pretty good movies; “No one knows how a movie is made — though everyone thinks they do. I’ve made a ton of movies (and four of them are pretty good, I think) and I’m still amazed at how films come together. From a flicker of an idea to the flickering image onscreen, the whole process is a miracle.”

“Movie-making is very hard work over a very long period of time that consists of so many moments of joy slapped up against an equal number of feelings of self-loathing. It is the greatest job in the world and the most confounding of labours that I know of. I hope the book captures as much of ‘the accidental judgements and casual slaughter’ that go into a motion pictures dictum to hold ‘a mirror up to nature’ that I have witnessed (and caused) since I joined the Screen Actors Guild.”

Obviously everyone on social media is now trying to guess which four movies Hanks is talking about in this interview. We do have one pretty big clue. In November 2021, Hanks selected his Top 3 Tom Hanks movies and they were – Cloud Atlas (2012), Cast Away (2000), and A League of Their Own (1992). However, in each case, it was more to do with the personal experience of making them than the finished result. It seems pretty clear that the fourth movie has to be Elvis, right? And is unlikely to be The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Getting back to Hanks’ novel – according to People, it spans several decades and showcases how American culture has changed since World War II. One portion is set in 1947, about a soldier returning home from war who leaves a lasting impression on his talented 5-year-old nephew. That boy grows up to draw comic books in 1970, making his uncle into one of his characters.

Then, in the present day, a director decides to adapt that comic book into a big-budget superhero movie. The book’s characters include an “extremely difficult” male actor and a “wonderful” leading lady actress, plus an “eccentric” director. Interspersed throughout the novel are comic books written by Hanks and illustrated by Robert Sikoryak.

Check out our guide to the best superhero movies.