Tom Hanks Doesn’t Like Streaming But He Stars In A Massive Hit On Netflix

Tom Hanks' A Man Called Otto is the fourth most streamed film on Netflix.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

tom hanks

Tom Hanks may not be a big fan of streaming platforms, but they sure love him! According to FlixPatrol, one of Hanks’ more recent cinematic efforts is moving up the charts at a speedy pace. A Man Called Otto is currently the fourth most streamed movie on Netflix and climbing.

The movie stars Tom Hanks, America’s sweetest man, as Otto Anderson, a grumpy curmudgeon grieving for his recently deceased wife. Otto is pushed into retirement by the company he works for and, having nothing left to live for, decides to kill himself. Luckily his attempt at suicide is interrupted by his new neighbors Marisol, played by Mariana Trevino, and her husband Tommy, played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.

Otto tries a second time to end his life—this time by filling his garage with carbon monoxide—but is again inadvertently thwarted when Marisol begs him to drive her to the hospital. More suicide attempts follow, each one unsuccessful until the cranky Otto decides he has something to live for in his new neighbors, turned friends.

A Man Called Otto is a remake of a 2015 Swedish film, A Man Called Ove—itself based on a 2012 novel of the same name by author Fredrik Backman. In 2017 Tom Hanks announced he would be starring in the film as well as producing it through his Playtone production company. The project was without a director until January of last year when Marc Forster stepped in to helm the film based on a screenplay from The Little Mermaid writer David Magee.

Only one month later, in February 2022, Sony Pictures bought the rights to A Man Called Auto for $60 million at the European Film Market. The movie started filming that month and finished in May of the same year. The Tom Hanks comedy-drama was shown in a select few theaters in December of 2022 before a wider release earlier this year.

The movie was a commercial success grossing over $112 million worldwide on a budget of less than half that amount. Audiences and critics alike viewed Otto positively. The movie currently holds a 69 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score only a few points shy of one hundred.

tom hanks

A Man Called Otto is one of the few non-superhero movies to make any sort of profit recently and stands as a testament to the star power of Tom Hanks. In an era where Captain America is a bigger draw than Chris Evans, it’s nice to see some genuine movie stars still exist. Given how little the title gives away plotwise, it’s safe to say that a large chunk of Otto‘s tickets were purchased based on the fact that it was the new “Tom Hanks movie,” and not because of fans’ preexisting knowledge of the IP.

The character Tom Hanks plays appears in numerous flashbacks throughout the film, using various methods to make Otto look younger. In one scene, Tom’s face was digitally de-aged to approximate Hanks in his 30s. The VFX team responsible for the scene used footage from the cult ’80s classic The Burbs to help them achieve the de-aging effect.

For other scenes, Tom’s son Truman Hanks was used to portray Otto as a younger man. The younger Hanks was 26 during the filming of the movie. It was only Truman’s second time in front of a camera after playing an extra in his father’s 2020 movie News of the World. Most of Truman’s time in Hollywood is spent behind the scenes, usually as a film loader or an assistant to the director of photography.

Tom Hank’s wife, Rita Wilson, contributed a song to the movie’s soundtrack making A Man Called Otto more of a family affair than it appears at first glance. Wilson sings the song “Til You’re Home” with Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra. Similarly, a scene where Otto is near a BMW blaring hip-hop, the song “White Boy Summer” by Tom’s son Chet Hanks can be heard.

One cameo not directly related to Tom Hanks—at least not by blood—is the stray cat that Otto adopts in the film. A long-haired, grey kitty by the name of Smeagol steals every scene it’s in—much like how the nasty hobbits’s stole the precious one ring from the real Smeagol. In some scenes, the cat was portrayed through CGI, again like the real Gollum of Lord of the Rings fame.

If you’re a fan of Tom Hanks—and let’s be honest, who isn’t?—and you’re interested in seeing him play a cranky old boomer like the kind Clint Eastwood is famous for being playing, you can’t go wrong with A Man Called Otto.