GOOD GUY GOES DARK Tom Hanks appears to enjoy having ditched his famous clean-cut image. His performance in the forthcoming Cast Away promises to give new meaning to the word stubble, and in Road to Perdition, a dark drama to be directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) for DreamWorks, Hanks will play a mobster who takes revenge on his former bosses and whose son dies along the way. Although some industry insiders are skeptical that DreamWorks will greenlight a movie with Hanks as a hitman, producer Dean Zanuck isn't worried. ''There are no questions from us whether he can do it, and I haven't heard anything from DreamWorks,'' says Zanuck, who says they plan on going into production early next year. ''[Hanks] is probably the most talented actor out there. He would know what his limitations are, and he's excited to do it.''
FEAR OF ALL FEARS Paramount chief Sherry Lansing's desperate search to find a director for The Sum of All Fears may have finally come to an end. Sources say Phil Alden Robinson (Sneakers, Field of Dreams) has signed on. Surprisingly, Lansing had been struggling to fill the director's chair despite Ben Affleck's commitment to play Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford gave the big thumbs-down to reprising the role in this installment, reportedly about a nuclear bomb set to go off during the Super Bowl), and despite a script retooled by Quiz Show's Paul Attanasio. Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger) opted out, and Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm, Air Force One) declined Lansing's offer. ''For whatever reason,'' says one studio executive, ''Paramount wants to keep it alive.''