Tom Hanks is eyeing a lead role in Universal's adaptation of Erik Larson's nonfiction best-seller In the Garden of Beasts, which Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman to produce via the duo's Playtone banner.

The book tells the true tale of William Dodd, the United States' reluctant and mild-mannered ambassador to Berlin in 1933, and his daughter Martha, a vivacious socialite who had romantic affairs with a Gestapo official and a Soviet spy. Dodd and his family at first naively navigated life in Nazi Germany (Dodd's daughter was excited when Adolf Hitler kissed her hand) but they slowly gained awareness of the mounting brutality around them.

The book, whose full title is "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin", was published in May.