That sound you just heard was the simultaneously blowing of minds all around the world when Variety reported on Monday that Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks will be starring in a Steven Spielberg movie about the Pentagon Papers, called The Post. But wait, have Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks ever starred in a movie together? A search through their respective resumés indicate that The Post will indeed mark the first time in their careers that Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep have appeared on-screen in a feature film together.
The two Hollywood icons have collaborated before. Hanks has produced two films starring Streep: the 2008 musical Mamma Mia! and the 2006 animated movie The Ant Bully, in which she voiced The Queen Ant. They have also both appeared in a number of documentaries about Hollywood and other subjects, including Everything Is Copy (2015), Radioman (2012), and Close Up (2012). Hanks and Streep are arguably the two biggest movie stars in the world — he has five Oscar nominations and two wins, she has 20 noms and three wins — and any film involving these two prodigious, lngendary talents going toe-to-toe on the big screen together is going to be an automatic must-see.
As revealed by Variety, The Post will detail the true story of the confidential government documents about the Vietnam War leaked to the press by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg in 1971. After The New York Times published three articles about the Pentagon Papers, President Nixon got an injunction against the newspaper — so Ellsberg took the documents to The Washington Post instead, who defied the order by continuing to publish the controversial reports, and later joined the Times in a Supreme Court case against the United States government.
According to Variety, Hanks will portray Post editor Ben Bradlee and Streep will play publisher Kay Graham, while Spielberg directs and produces. Obviously, Hanks and Spielberg have worked together on multiple occasions, most recently for last year's Best Picture nominee Bridge Of Spies, as well as on 2004's The Terminal, 2002's Catch Me If You Can, and of course 1998's Saving Private Ryan, which earned the former a Best Actor nomination and the latter a Best Director trophy. They have also collaborated behind the scenes, co-producing the two HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010). Spielberg has also directed Streep once before, when she had a memorable cameo as the Blue Fair in the filmmaker's 2001 sci-fi film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
While seeing Hanks and Spielberg team up for another movie isn't exactly earth-shattering news, it's the inclusion of Streep that instantly transforms The Post into the stuff of Hollywood legend.
Hollywood history is littered with examples of pairs of stars who co-starred in movie after movie together: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. But nothing can compare to the sparks that fly when two icons finally come face-to-face for the first time at the climax of their long and storied careers: think Joan Crawford and Bette Davis colliding in 1962's What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (the current subject of FX's anthology series Feud), or Robert De Niro and Al Pacino facing off in 1995's Heat (21 years after they both starred in The Godfather Part II despite never appearing onscreen at the same time, given that their characters existed in different timelines).
Spielberg recently earned three Best Picture nominations in a row for War Horse, Lincoln, and Bridge Of Spies; Hanks is hot off the success of the biopic Sully, which earned him some of the best reviews of his career; and Streep made headlines this year for both her landmark 20th Oscar nomination and her fiery political speech at the Golden Globes. Seeing these three towering giants of Hollywood make a movie together is any cinephile's dream come true. The Post — and its timely story of the First Amendment, the press, and the government — can't get here fast enough.