A Man Called Otto: Plot, Cast, Release Date, and Everything Else We Know

Award-winning actor Tom Hanks returns to the silver screen with the drama comedy A Man Called Otto, directed by Marc Forster. He plays the main character Otto, a lonely widower with no great social skills or willingness to change his ways. Here is everything there is to know about the movie.

It is based on the 2012 #1 New York Times bestseller novel A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. This is the second time this book has been adapted into a feature, after 2015’s Swedish film of the same name written and directed by Hannes Holm and starring Rolf Lassgard. The book was about finding meaning in life through hardships; now we will see if the movie can convey the feel-good themes of the story… about a very lonely, sad man who lost his wife. Sounds like a Tom Hanks movie!


Hanks is as productive as ever after his role as Geppetto in Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio, which went straight to streaming on Disney+ last September. He also starred in the critically and commercially successful Elvis by director Baz Luhrmann starring Austin Butler, in the role of Colonel Tom Parker in the summer of 2022. Unlike a remake of a classic animated movie and a biopic of one of the most famous singers of all time, Hanks is the main focus in A Man Called Otto.

This is a smaller studio film without a cast full of other A-list actors and a smaller budget. Hanks is front and center in every promotional material for the movie, and he is more involved as he is not just the protagonist but also a producer. His recognizability, talent, and charm can sell a movie to many cinema lovers.

Here is everything we know so far about Sony Pictures Releasing’s A Man Called Otto.

A Man Called Otto: The Plot

Otto is a sixty-year-old, grumpy widower with a very short fuse who seems to spend most of his time visiting his dead wife’s grave and making everyone around him miserable with his criticisms and judgmental behavior. At the same time, his neighbors try to keep their heads cool around him. A young family moves next to him, and through the mother’s kind and plucky nature and the daughters’ cute, childish antics, their initial friction turns into a friendship that will bring an immense change in his life.

The official synopsis reads:

“A grumpy widower whose only joy comes from criticizing and judging his exasperated neighbors meets his match when a lively young family moves in next door, leading to an unexpected friendship that will turn his world upside-down.”

Will the change be permanent, or will Otto return to his old ways? Will he find a resemblance of happiness and meaning in his life?

A Man Called Otto: The Cast and Crew

Sony Pictures Releasing

Academy Award winner Tom Hanks plays the main character called Otto. He is also a producer in the film, along with his wife Rita Wilson, Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, and Gary Goetzman. Tom Hanks told People Magazine that the movie is about community and family. He stated:

“The way you treat your own neighbors, the way people can come together in any time of crisis happens over and over again. Anytime there’s a tornado, a flood, or something that hits a very particular community, everybody comes out and helps.”

The part of the mother of the young family next door is played by Mariana Treviño (Cecilia, Overboard), and the father is played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (The Lincoln Lawyer, Murder on the Orient Express).

The cast also includes Rachel Keller, whom we have seen in TV series like Fargo, Legion, and Tokyo Vice. As well as Kailey Hyman (Terrifier 2, Second Thoughts) and Cameron Britton (Mindhunter, Umbrella Academy).

A Man Called Otto is directed by Marc Forster, who is well-known for movies such as Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland, and World War Z, among others. The movie’s screenplay was written by David Magee, also known for Finding Neverland, Life of Pi, and Marry Poppins Returns.

Release Date

Sony Pictures Releasing

After a few switches, the movie will be widely released on January 13, 2023, following a limited release on December 25, 2022, only in New York and Los Angeles, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The filming of A Man Called Otto began in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in February 2022, and after four months, it wrapped in May 2022.

Tom Hanks has played many roles in his decades-long career, but it is rare to see him act like a grumpy older man. He has proven himself many times; it is not unreasonable for people to expect him to pull this role off excellently. Holidays are just around the corner, and maybe one of the gifts we will get is to see him in this drama-comedy.