Tom Hanks Films 'A Hologram for the King' in Egypt & It's Good News for the Nation


Writer Dave Eggers has found his time on the big screen once again with a new film adaptation of his book, A Hologram for the King. Outside of his work as an author, Eggers is known in film for his screenplay for Away We Go, adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and for having his own story, Promised Land, adapted for film. Eggers must be pretty pleased with himself, especially since A-list actor Tom Hanks is already filming in Egypt for A Hologram for the King's starring role.

Although the film — which focuses on an American businessman traveling abroad in hopes of regaining his money after failing to sell an idea elsewhere — takes place in Saudi Arabia, the film crew has made its way to Hurghada, Egypt. After living in Cairo for six years myself, I can safely say that the country has some pretty great beaches, and Hanks is living the good life by staying in Hurghada. I realize this statement contrasts what is usually heard in the news about Egypt, but those stories do not represent all of Egypt and especially not all of Egypt's people.

Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, where Hurghada is located, is known for its clear blue waters and beautiful reefs. Hanks is even staying on a yacht in the Red Sea, according to the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, so I can’t imagine how he’ll be able to stay in character as a struggling salesman with the environment he’s in. Plus, the actor will have the opportunity to film various parts of the film in diving areas off the coast according to news agency MENA. Not to shabby, eh?

However, with all of Hanks’ luxuries aside, it’s quite exciting to hear a film is being shot in Egypt not only because I lived there, but also because this will hopefully help the country. During Egypt’s revolution to overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak, it was at times disheartening for me to hear strangers and even my own friends speak the way they did about the country.

Various people I knew often criticized the movement and Egyptians themselves, even though they had never even been to the country. There was, of course, much violence and numerous deaths, but I still know Egypt for the many kind people who live there and the truly spectacular culture. So not only am I sure that Hanks will do a fantastic job with his part as Alan Clay, but his work in Egypt will, hopefully, also help boost tourism in the nation once again.