Tom Hanks is one of the most popular and beloved movie stars in the world, not to mention one of the greatest actors of his generation who has already secured his place in the history books as one of the best to ever grace the silver screen. The 64 year-old has pretty much seen and done it all at this stage in his career with two Academy Awards, seven Emmys and five Golden Globes to show for it.
One thing he hasn’t done up until now, however, is headline a Western, but that’s about to change when News of the World hits theaters on Christmas Day. Based on the novel of the same name, Hanks stars as Captain Jefferson Kidd, a war hero tasked with delivering a young girl to her relatives in Texas, but she believes herself to be an Indian. Kidd must take his charge across the vast landscapes of the Old West while trying to reintegrate her into society and fending off the dangers of the road.
There’s far too few high-profile Westerns being made these days, and based on the synopsis alone, News of the World has the potential to be one of the genre’s finest recent efforts. Surprisingly, Paul Greengrass is the man behind the camera in what marks his first time directing a full-blown period piece, and from the looks of things, the Bourne filmmaker has abandoned his signature handheld camerawork. Which is for the best, because that style would be terribly ill-suited to what looks like a sweeping and epic drama.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that News of the World will hit theaters as scheduled on Christmas Day, but if people are willing to back to the movies in large numbers by then, it’ll offer solid counterprogramming to Wonder Woman 1984.