This is the trailer for the new Tom Hanks move, Bridge of Spies, where he starts as lawyer James B. Donovan who helped defend a Soviet spy and later negotiated a prisoner swap for a captured U2 pilot. The script was co-written by the Cohen brothers. Here’s the trailer.
No, when these “based on a true story” films pop up I like to do a little research and see just how dismally they bungled it. In this case, it doesn’t appear that they missed much, they just condensed the time line, according to Wikipedia the time between the original trial and the prisoner swap was about five years. The trailer makes it look like filmmakers have decided to have these two events happen essentially concurrently.
What is MORE fascinating, though, is that Donovan went on to negotiate the release of 1,113 prisoners after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and he refused to assassinate Castro. Of course, given that the CIA’s plan was to give Castro a diving suit and regulator contaminated with “pathogenic germs” it probably just would have been another in the long series of terribly misguided attempts to kill Castro, more than the one shot that would have sealed the deal. Seriously, the CIA in the 60s trying to kill Castro sounds more like Wile E. Coyote than the best strategic minds our nation had to offer.
The Tom Hanks movie tragically does not appear to include the period in Donovan’s life where he essentially said “are you kidding me with this shit?” to the CIA but it still looks like an OK Cold War thriller as far as these things go.