The cinematic relationship between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has been a fruitful one, for sure. Tom Hanks has a formidable filmography up there with the rest of the best actors of all time, and some of the best Tom Hanks movies have also been the best Steven Spielberg movies.
But it turns out that, despite their enviable list of collaborations, there’s a Steven Spielberg movie that Tom Hanks wishes he had the chance to be a part of – one of the best science fiction movies of all time.
Hanks explained to Time that he was in his college town working as a stage manager and sleeping on a friend’s floor when he got chance to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the big screen on its original release in 1977.
He said: “It was the first showing, it was a weekday, so there were maybe 40 people in the theater, but this was a movie we had studied the making of without having seen a single frame of the movie.
“What was great about it, too, both me and my friends commented on it: it had no iconographic casting to it. Richard Dreyfuss was a guy who worked for the power company. We had never really seen a movie where a guy who worked for the power company met the aliens.”
Given the enormous impact Close Encounters has had on the best movies made since, we can completely understand why Hanks would’ve relished the chance to make it. The everyman charm of Dreyfuss is a big part of why the movie works and, let’s face it, there’s nobody around today who can do everyman charm like Hanks.
Of course, this awe and regret goes both ways and there’s also a Hanks movie that Steven Spielberg regrets not directing in the shape of Philadelphia. Hanks won an Oscar for that movie, so it’s no surprise that Spielberg would’ve loved to get his hands on that performance.
For more on these two cinematic titans, find out the dark reason Steven Spielberg recommends this Hitchcock movie, check out why Tom Hanks thinks this Godfather star is his acting hero, and learn how Tom Hanks saved Saving Private Ryan thanks to Forrest Gump.
We’ve also got you covered on the new movies to come, including the Killers of the Flower Moon release date. As for Hanks’ future and recent past, check out our Asteroid City review and look ahead to the Toy Story 5 release date.