• Alum’s ‘Blind Side’ follow-up, ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ opens nationwide today

    His movies have starred such Hollywood stars as Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, John Cusack, Kevin Spacey and Sandra Bullock. Now, two-time Baylor graduate John Lee Hancock, BA ’79, JD ’82, can add another pair of headliners to the list: Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

    Hanks plays Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, the latest directorial effort from Hancock, which opens in theaters nationwide today. The film tells the tale of how Disney convinced author P.L. Travers (played by Thompson) to allow him to make a film version of her book, Mary Poppins. The movie’s cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Colin Farrell.

    Saving Mr. Banks marks Hancock’s first time back in the director’s chair since The Blind Side, which earned a “Best Picture” Oscar nomination in 2010. Hancock both wrote and directed The Blind Side; he has also written such films as A Perfect World and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and directed movies such as The Rookie and The Alamo.

    Bullock won an Oscar for her role in Hancock’s last movie, and some critics are suggesting Thompson could follow suit for her role here. (See reviews from the Chicago Tribune, London Telegraph, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.)

    Sic ’em, John Lee Hancock!

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