Tom Hanks is starring in A Hologram for the King, the film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ acclaimed 2012 novel. In its first trailer, Hanks’ character, the struggling businessman Alan Clay, finds himself at a crossroads while living his American life a la Talking Heads’ disillusionment anthem, “Once in a Lifetime.” He then decides to embark on a sales trip, and adventure, to a foreign land.
While the clip injects humor as it opens to Clay singing David Byrne’s lyrics while scenes that are depicted in the song literally go poof in a plume of pink smoke, it soon turns to Clay traveling to Saudi Arabia for a fresh start. He heads to the country to pitch the king a three dimensional holographic meeting system. While there, he meets a funny driver, who has a love for Chicago (the band, not the city as Clay first thinks), who takes him to the desert for a meeting. Clay soon discovers that doing business there is quite different than in the States.
Love also plays a role in the film. After Clay suffers an anxiety attack, A Saudi woman, played by Sarita Choudhury, cares for him and there’s an obvious spark. However, “the big culture clash” as she describes it could thwart their budding romance. A hopeful voiceover is heard, which says, “Sometimes you have to change your scenery to change your life.”
“Expect the unexpected,” Clay says to close the clip.
A Hologram for the King premieres on April 22nd.