Film Facts: 5 Things to Know About ‘A Man Called Otto’

Before A Man Called Otto hits theaters this week, we’ve rounded up a few facts about the movie that you might want to know!

Tom Hanks is back on the big screen, headlining the heartwarming film A Man Called Otto. In this movie, Hanks plays a grumpy widower whose world is turned upside down when he meets the quick-witted pregnant woman Marisol. Check out the trailer for A Man Called Otto below:

Before A Man Called Otto hits theaters this week, we’ve rounded up a few facts about the movie that you might want to know. Check them out below:

1. It’s based on a book.

The upcoming Tom Hanks film is based on the  #1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove by the Swedish author Fredrik Backman. The film will follow Otto, a grumpy old man who lost his purpose in life after his wife died. Ready to end it all, Otto is then interrupted by a lively young family who moves in next door, and with it is the pregnant woman Marisol who dares him to see life differently.

2. The book was first adapted into a Swedish film.

Before this Hollywood flick, A Man Called Ove was actually adapted into a Swedish film of the same name in 2015, directed by Hannes Holm and starring Rolf Lassgård. The first film also received two nominations during the 2017 Academy Awards.

“Obviously, I was very blessed because there was the novel there, and Fredrik Backman did a great job in the novel balancing it, and there was the Swedish version of the film, which also did a very good job with that,” director Marc Forster told Collider in an interview.

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“There was source material. But then, once we got into the editing, I did a lot of the ins and outs of the flashbacks, which often happens during the suicide attempts. There were often these moments where I had Tom play them, and then Truman played them, as well, Truman Hanks who plays the younger Otto.”

3. Tom Hanks gets to work with his son Truman in the film.

Tom’s 27-year-old son, Truman Hanks, is also a part of the film, starring as the younger version of Otto in the flashbacks. Tom told PEOPLE, that working with his son was “special because, you know, I changed his diapers. But you get past that right away because you gotta show up, and you gotta hit the marks, and you gotta do it on time, and you gotta be right there.”

Photo: A Man Called Otto trailer

4. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo was suggested by Tom Hanks to co-star in the film.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo who plays Marisol’s husband Tommy, was suggested by Tom Hanks to play the role after working with him in the 2020 movie Greyhound.

“For me, it’s very hard to do comedy, or at least for me, I feel like I’m not confident enough to do it. But then I heard that Tom was like, ‘No, Manuel. Let’s bring Manuel.’ And I’m like, if Tom says, I have to do it,” shared Garcia-Rulfo in an interview with Collider.

Photo: A Man Called Otto trailer

5. Director Forster on filming Tom’s cat co-star Smeagol.

Also starring alongside Hanks is the cat named Smeagol. According to director Forster, filming the feline star was not a walk in the park.

“I think the cat, Sméagol, was probably the toughest one. Sometimes Sméagol just left set and walked off,” Forster shared. “And then, I had to beg the producer for a green screen day because I don’t like CG animals and CG cats. So, then we kept shooting Sméagol on a green screen, and then to comp him into the picture. Ultimately, 90% of it is all Sméagol’s performance, so I was very happy with that. But that was much harder than the kids, or anything else.

Photo: A Man Called Otto trailer


A Man Called Otto opens in cinemas nationwide this Wednesday, January 25 Book your seats in advance and buy your tickets here.

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A Man Called Otto
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