Opening this weekend in limited release is director Peter Webber’s (Girl with a Pearl Earring) historical drama Emperor. The film takes place during the days following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II and stars Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur, the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces. Matthew Fox plays a leading Japanese expert on the staff of MacArthur who is tasked with deciding whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried as a war criminal. Fox’s mission becomes more complicated as he searches for a school teacher (Eriko Hatsune) who first drew him to Japan years before the war. For more on the film, watch these three clips.
A few days ago, we got to speak with Jones. He talked about the research he did, what surprised him about MacArthur, collaborating with Peter Webber to make sure the film was an accurate depiction and not a Hollywood version of the events, script changes, and more. In addition, Jones talked about The Homesman, which he’ll be directing next month. Hit the jump to watch.
We previously reported that Tommy Lee Jones would be writing, directing, producing and starring in The Homesman; now it looks as if Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank will join the picture. (For those of you playing along at home, that would make six Oscars among the three actors.) The Homesman is a pioneer period piece which follows a claim-jumping rascal (Jones) and a frontierwoman as they escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa and battle the harsh elemental conditions of the prairie. Swank will play the frontierwoman, but The Wrap reports that it’s not yet clear which part Streep will take on (insane woman perhaps?). This will mark a reunion of Jones and Streep, who starred together in Great Hope Springs this summer. The Homesman will mark the first time Swank has worked with either actor.