As for the future, Hanks says he has no plans for another WWII production, but he hasn't ruled one out, either. "There's a ton of stuff coming," Hanks says. "It'll be interesting to see how much of this stuff the market will bear."

What a saturated market could certainly bear from Hanks and Spielberg is a production that, instead of reaching across the Atlantic, tackles the Pacific. Variety reported last year that Spielberg's production company, Dreamworks, had bought the rights to Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley's best-selling account of events on Iwo Jima that led to the raising of the American flag memorialized in the historic photo. How fitting it would be to see Hanks hoisting the century's most vaunted Stars and Stripes on film as a tribute to the war's Pacific veterans. In reality, Hanks might be a little old for the part - the oldest man in that photograph was just 25 - but it seems unlikely anybody would complain if he was the one behind the camera.

war stories
hollywood's new look at wwii has ranged from the sublime to the subpar to the soon-to-be released.

saving private ryan (1998)
starring: tom hanks, matt damon
rating: a
director steven spielberg opens his opus where other films would finish - with a teeth-clenching, d-day invasion of omaha beach that's better and more authentic than any war action ever staged. the rest of the film is filled with tense, small unit actions serving as parables on everything from patriotism to anti-semitism. despite spielberg's usual forays into sentimentality, hanks quietly shines in what will likely go down as the centerpiece role of his career.

the thin red line (1998)
starring: nick nolte, sean penn, jim caviezel