Tom Hanks Is In Egypt, Filming 'Hologram For The King'

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Actor Tom Hanks speaks onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 16, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) | Kevin Winter via Getty Images

CAIRO (AP) — Hollywood star Tom Hanks has started shooting portions of his new film "A Hologram for the King" in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Hurghada, the country's state news agency reported Saturday.

Hanks arrived Friday in Egypt and told the local independent daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that it was his first visit to the Red Sea, though he's read a lot about it. The newspaper said Hanks will be sleeping in a yacht in the Red Sea during the filming.

Egypt's state news agency MENA reported that Hanks will film scenes in diving areas off the coast.

The movie is directed by German filmmaker Tom Tykwer and is based on a 2012 novel by Dave Eggers. Hanks will play the role of a struggling American salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sign a contract with a wealthy monarch, but instead finds himself entangled in a series of misadventures.

The movie is set to be released in 2015.

Egyptian officials view Hanks' visit as a boost to the country's faltering tourism industry, a top foreign currency earner battered by three years of political turmoil. Hurghada is one of the country's best known destinations, renowned for its diving sites and colorful coral reefs.

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