Tom Hanks is making his very first western! It’s titled News of the World, and today we have a few first-look photos to share with you.
The story is based on the 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles and is set in 1870 in a region reeling from endless conflict and Hanks takes on the role of Captain Jefferson Kidd, “a widower who travels through the Texas desert to perform a one-man show about true stories from afar. His goal, apart from gathering coins in his cup, is to bring people together and expand their perspective of the world.”
This is obviously a different kind of old west story, but one that sounds like an interesting film worth watching. The movie is being directed by Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), who tells Vanity Fair, “When the fabric of society is in tatters, you’ve got a character in Kidd, who in his lonely, singular, small way is a thread who connects one community to another.”
It’s explained that on his journey, Kidd “finds his own point of view upended when he discovers the ruins of a smashed carriage in the middle of nowhere, and a lost little girl (Helena Zengel) who is the only survivor. She speaks, but not his language. Figuring out who she is, how she got there, and where she belongs is more dangerous than he anticipates.
“It’s not the first time that the girl has been rescued. As a toddler, she was found and raised by the Kiowa tribe, who are regarded with contempt by most white settlers who are encroaching on the land. She knows the Kiowa only as family, and the language she speaks is theirs.”
Greengrass went on to talk about the story of the film further saying:
“Even though it’s set then, it’s a film about our times. Neighbors and families and communities were in stark and often violent conflict with each other, and Americans needed to decide who they were as Americans.
“That’s what I wanted the film to explore. What’s the road out of this? What’s the road to healing look like? And in this story of this man and this little girl, these two characters, both of them for very different reasons are lost. The story for them is to work out where they each belong and how that works. And that’s what I wanted this Western to do.”
News of the World, due out on December 25th. I’ll be looking forward to watching this!