Director Peter Webber (Girl With the Pearl Earring) has a new project coming up called Emperor that looks at the tension and confusion in Japan immediately after their surrender in World War II. The film will star Lost’s Matthew Fox as a man named General Bonner Fellers (or “boner feeler” as he was doubtless known in his junior high), who served General Douglas MacArthur as his leading expert on all things Japanese. Basically he was the 40s military version of kids that are really into manga and video games.
Being the leading expert on Japan was a pretty important role in this particular moment in history, however, as Fellers ended up being the guy who had to decide whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried and hanged as a war criminal. That’s some pretty grave stuff, but Fox won’t have to handle the dramatic load alone.
THR is reporting that veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones has now signed on to the project to portray General MacArthur. Emperor producer Gary Foster says of the choice, “Tommy will bring strength, intelligence and gravitas to the portrayal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a legendary American hero.” Gravitas is a good word to use there. Jones is one of those actors that just lends a certain weight to every role he takes, no matter how ridiculous the movie around him might be. I’m sure his familiar presence will add quite a bit to this historical drama. Hell, at this point he’s practically a legendary American hero himself.