Attorney James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is presented with a new case he isn't sure he wants to take on in the first of two new clips from DreamWorks Pictures' Bridge of Spies, arriving in theaters October 16. The first scene features Williams (Michael Gaston) and Thomas Watters (Alan Alda) telling Donovan that they picked him to defend a traitor because of his experience at the Nuremberg trials, even though he hasn't practiced criminal law in over a decade. The second Bridge of Spies clip features Donovan discussing the case over dinner with his wife Mary (Amy Ryan) and their children, although Mary doesn't think he should take it on.
In the 1950s during the early stages of the Cold War, tensions are rife between the U.S. and USSR, so when the FBI arrests Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a Soviet agent living in New York, the fear and paranoia only escalate. Charged with sending coded messages back to Russia, Abel is questioned by the FBI but refuses to cooperate, declining their offer to turn on his country, and is detained in federal prison pending trial. The government, in need of an independent attorney to take on Abel's defense, approaches James Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer from Brooklyn.
But Donovan, a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials and highly regarded within the legal community for his profound skills as a negotiator, has little experience with allegations of this magnitude and isn't eager to get involved. Advocating such a deeply unpopular defense would make him a public figure and could subject his family to scrutiny, disdain and even, potentially, danger. Donovan find himself in the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.
Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan's life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life. Directed by three-time Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies stars two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as James Donovan; three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, a KGB agent defended by Donovan, Scott Shepherd as CIA operative Hoffman, Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan as James' wife, Mary, Sebastian Koch as East German lawyer Vogel and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda as Thomas Watters, a partner at Donovan's law firm.
Bridge of Spies hits theaters on October 16, going up against Crimson Peak and Goosebumps at the box office that weekend. While it's too soon to tell right now, Bridge of Spies could emerge as an early Oscar candidate. That will surely depend on how the critics and audiences alike respond to this drama, but we'll have to wait and see. Check out these clips and interviews, and stay tuned for more on Bridge of Spies.