Hanks Hits The 'Road' To Ruin

Is it really true? Our sweet Tommy Hanks, cast as a cold-blooded hit man? Yes, for "The Road to Perdition," Hanks adds a pencil-thin mustache and 10 tons of moral baggage to play Michael Sullivan, a 1930s-era Chicago mobster who, along with his eldest son, sets out for revenge after his wife and young boy are murdered. "The simple line is, 'Tom Hanks kills people! Shock! Horror!' But it's much more than that," says director Sam Mendes, who chose this bloody drama, costarring Jude Law and Paul Newman, as his follow-up to "American Beauty." "It's about how far you'll go to protect your child from becoming, effectively, you." The title provides a hint: "perdition" means "hell." "I only knew that because I did 'Othello,' and there's the line 'Perdition catch my soul if I love thee not'," Mendes admits. "But I checked a dictionary just to make sure." So did we--you know, just to make sure.

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