News of the World trailer

Look at him. Look at him. Tom Hanks is the captain now in News of the World, a western which reunites him with his Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass. Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kidd (I told you he was the captain!), a man who travels across the plains reading the news to small-town folk who otherwise would never hear it.

This is the actor’s first western, and it looks like the kind of old-school throwback that doesn’t come around too often in the modern Hollywood landscape. Check out the brand new trailer below.

News of the World Trailer

This is a very strong trailer, opening with a meta element of Hanks as a storyteller (actors are storytellers too, you see), and closing with a commentary about the upcoming election, with Americans waiting for better days to come. The film is likely going to be an awards contender (if you care about that sort of thing), but otherwise, it just looks like a damn good movie.

After delivering a phenomenal performance in 2013’s Captain Phillips, Hanks is getting back in the saddle with Greengrass, who is taking a break from his terrorism dramas and Bourne films to direct a full-fledged period piece here. Greengrass wrote the screenplay with Luke Davies (Lion) based on Paulette Jiles’ best-selling novel.

News of the World is set in a bitterly divided, dangerous world and it is a journey of discovery for both Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) and the girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel),” Greengrass said. “Both characters are lost in different ways and are searching for belonging. That is what gives the journey tremendous emotional power. Kidd and Johanna have great adventures whilst overcoming great dangers, and ultimately, the film is about a journey towards redemption.”

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

Five years after the end of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks), a veteran of three wars, now moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes, and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe.

In the plains of Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna (Helena Zengel, System Crasher), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna, hostile to a world she’s never experienced, is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will.

Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.

News of the World is slated to arrive in theaters on December 25, 2020 – although with the way things have been going with the pandemic in the United States lately, I wouldn’t bet on that date holding for very long.

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