The historical epic Emperor has gained some considerable dramatic weight with the addition of Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by Peter Webber (The Girl with the Pearl Earring), the film takes place during the days following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. Jones will play General Douglas MacArthur, the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces. Matthew Fox stars as a leading Japanese expert on the staff of MacArthur who is tasked with deciding whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried and hanged as a war criminal.
It’s a fascinating story, and one that I’m even more excited to see told with the addition of Jones. Production is set to begin this month in New Zealand and Japan. Jones will next be seen in Men in Black 3 this May, and also stars in Great Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Steve Carell. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Los Angeles, January 17, 2012: Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln, Men in Black, The Fugitive) joins Matthew Fox (World War Z, I, Alex Cross, Lost) in EMPEROR (working title) from director Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring). Jones will portray General Douglas MacArthur in the film which is based on a screenplay by David Klass (Walking Tall, Desperate Measures, Kiss the Girls) and Vera Blasi (Woman on Top, Tortilla Soup), EMPEROR will be produced by Yoko Narahashi (The Last Samurai), Gary Foster (Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Sleepless in Seattle, The Soloist), Eugene Nomura (Tajomaru, Surely Some Day) and Russ Krasnoff (The Soloist).
Producer Gary Foster said: “Tommy will bring strength, intelligence, and gravitas to the portrayal of General Douglas MacArthur, a legendary American hero.”
Inspired by true events, EMPEROR is an epic story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal?
Interwoven with this nail-biting political thriller is the story of Fellers’ love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations.