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Hailee Steinfeld Boards Tommy Lee Jones’ ‘Homesman’; Ron Howard Finds Tom Holland for ‘Sea’

Written by on April 11, 2013 

Some Coen brothers veterans have an excuse to chat it up on a set: according to Deadline, Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) will take part in The Homesman, a feature that Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men, natch) is directing from a screenplay co-written with Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver. With production currently underway, he’s also in front of the camera, playing a man tasked with transporting three mentally unbalanced women from Nebraska to Iowa; using his deep set of Hollywood connections, the actor-writer-director has already found a strong supporting team.

Hilary Swank will appear as the “pioneer woman” traveling with Jones, and while the big details regarding Meryl Streep‘s involvement have yet to be made official, one might guess that we’ll see her as a member of the lunatic company. The role afforded to Steinfeld is clearer: “a poor, simple, and barefooted teenager named Tabitha Hutchinson,” a character which, all things considered, could easily be the second player in The Homesman‘s plot-driving trio.

No matter how she ends up getting involved, it’d be a fool’s idea to lob complaints against such a set. Just look at the supporting players: with John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, and James Spader, The Homesman has potential to really sneak up on us.

In other news relating to young actors in period pieces (no?), Deadline also have word on Ron Howard‘s whaling picture, In the Heart of the Sea, informing us that Tom Holland is landing the position of co-star to Chris Hemsworth. This is a mighty good job for the Impossible actor to have landed: although the God of Thunder is an ostensible lead, its second signed cast member is to play Thomas Nickerson, a cabin boy who documented the struggles that inspired Nathaniel Philbrick to write his own chronicle, the existence of which led to this eventual movie. The circle of life, or something.

That story, by the way, is of the Essex, a ship which had sunk after being attacked by a whale in the Pacific on an 1820 voyage. Floating in the water for 90 days, much of the set came to eat each other as a means of survival; only eight men survived, but we got Moby Dick out of it. As adapted by Charles Leavitt (The Seventh Son, Blood Diamond), the project is expected to shoot this fall, right around the time Howard and Hemsworth‘s first collaboration, Rush, hits screens.

How do you see these additions making an impact?


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