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Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones hasn’t had a meaty lead role in years, though he has been on fire when it comes to selecting stellar supporting parts. He has moved from The Company Men to Captain America, and he’s bracing for an extended cameo in Men In Black III. Here’s his latest.
Jones will play General Douglas MacArthur in Peter Webber’s Emperor, a based-on-true-events drama that will be set in the days following Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II. The No Country for Old Men star joins Lost lead Matthew Fox – also about to be seen opposite Brad Pitt in World War Z -- who’ll play General Bonner Fellers, an expert in Japanese culture and military who must help determine if Emperor Hirohito should be tried and hanged as a war criminal.
Screenwriter David Klass (Walking Tall, Kiss the Girls) and Vera Blasi (Woman on Top) will attempt to weave the political elements with a romantic subplot involving Fellers’ love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he met years ago and now wants to relocate in the battle-ravaged, post-war Japan.
“Tommy will bring strength, intelligence, and gravitas to the portrayal of General Douglas MacArthur, a legendary American hero,” producer Gary Foster said of the casting. Production is scheduled to begin in this month in New Zealand and Japan. No word on when Emperor might reach theaters, but the content suggests Oscar bait, so maybe it will be held until the middle to end of 2013, when it could work itself into the annual awards race.