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Tom Hanks in Egypt along Red Sea to film parts of upcoming movie 'A Hologram for the King'

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2014 file photo, actor Tom Hanks poses for photographers on the red carpet at the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Opera House in London. Hanks started shooting portions of his new film

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FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2014 file photo, actor Tom Hanks poses for photographers on the red carpet at the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Opera House in London. Hanks 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, July 19, 2014. (photos by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, File)

CAIRO - 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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