We have our first look at News of the World, the latest from Tom Hanks. The two-time Oscar-winner is making the first trip of his long, storied career to the Old West. Hanks is reuniting with director Paul Greengrass, with the two having previously collaborated on Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips. Now, Universal Pictures has released the first set of photos, as well as a teaser trailer, for the movie, which sees Hanks playing a traveling journalist at a time of unrest in America.
The photos, which were debuted by Vanity Fair, showcase Tom Hanks as Captain Kidd in a way we’ve not ever seen him before, given the period setting of the movie. We also get a sense of the western imagery, which looks very much right at home in the genre. They also offer a look at Hanks’ co-star, Helena Zengel.
As for the trailer, it is very much a teaser. It starts with Captain Kidd and his young companion sitting by a campfire as he explains the nature of news to her. We then get a sense of Kidd’s quest, as he has unwittingly been tasked with taking this lost girl to her family. This is not an outlaws and lawmen sort of western. Rather, it focuses on a man with a unique profession who offers a new perspective on the world at an extraordinary time.
Paul Green Greengrass directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Luke Davies (Lion). It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Paulette Jiles. Gary Goetzman (Mamma Mia!, Greyhound), Gail Mutrux (The Danish Girl, Donnie Brasco) and Gregory Goodman (22 July, 8 Mile) are on board as producers. The executive producers are Steven Shareshian and Tore Schmidt. James Newton Howard, an eight-time Oscar nominee, is providing the score for the movie’s soundtrack.
News of the World takes place five years after the end of the Civil War and centers on Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a widower and veteran of three wars. He now moves from town to town making his living as a non-fiction storyteller. While traversing the plains of Texas, he comes across Johanna (Helena Zengel), a 10-year-old who was taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier, raised as one of them. Johanna is hostile to a world she’s never experienced and will now be returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where she legally belongs. As the two journey hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, they face huge challenges, both of the human and natural variety, as they search for a place that either can call home.
Most big movies have been delayed beyond 2020 at this point. However, the studio still plans on releasing News of the World on Christmas, which seems to imply they see it as awards-worthy. That makes sense, given the team involved. News of the World arrives in theaters on December 25 from Universal Pictures. Be sure to check out the trailer and images for yourself.