While recent clips for the upcoming sequel “Men In Black III” continue to lead us to believe it was nothing but a giant payday for all involved, actor Tommy Lee Jones is always reliable, even with the treacle-filled trailer for his co-starring role with Meryl Streep in “Hope Springs” showing he’s willing to step outside his comfort zone so late in his career to bring some laughs.
Well, Variety is reporting that Jones is now lining up his next directorial outing in the form of “The Homesman,” the pioneer-era tale of a woman who joins a outlawed man (Jones) in an attempt to usher three mentally unstable women from Nebraska to Iowa, on an odyssey that well have them braving the elements every step of the way. While that may sounds like an adaptation of the ‘90s PC game “The Oregon Trail,” Jones seems to be taking this quite seriously as he’s producing the picture, and talking to “The Professional” director Luc Besson's EuropaCorp banner to co-produce, finance and distribute the film internationally.
This isn’t Jones’s first journey behind the camera though, he made his directorial debut with the 1995 TNT movie "The Good Old Boys," while he helmed his first feature with the 2005 drama "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," which earned four Independent Spirit Award nominations and two awards from the Cannes Film Festival. He also helmed the Cormac McCarthy adaptation “The Sunset Limited” for HBO, which we weren’t crazy about, but did think he handled the film in an admirable manner.
Regardless, it’s exciting to see stars like this taking creative gambles in their established careers, even if the “The Homesman” falls within Jones’ wheelhouse pretty nicely. There’s no word on when production is set to begin, but with Jones wrapping up duties as Thaddeus Stevens on Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," and publicity rounds on “Men in Black III” and "Hope Springs" on the way, we’re guessing it may be a while.