Though it tells a story set 150 years in the past, the Paul Greengrass-directed News of the World re-teams the filmmaker with his Captain Phillips star Tom Hanks in an Old West tale from Universal Pictures about a country trying to heal.
Hanks plays Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a beaten-down Confederate soldier who spends his time after the Civil War going from one Texas town to another to read newspaper stories to the occupants, who are looking for light to inspire their hard lives. Along the way, Kidd encounters a 10-year-old girl (Helena Zengel) whose life has consisted of one horror after the next, most recently when she was raised by the Kiowa tribe that killed her family years earlier. Their bond slowly grows as he escorts her to the only living relatives she has left.
Appearing at Deadline’s two-day Contenders Film awards-season event, Greengrass discusses the influences and reasons he chose to make this Western with Hanks, including the healing power of truthful storytelling, and how much the young German actress Zengel, who has drawn raves for her work, helped the process. And how a movie made before the pandemic became even more prescient with the advent of the global Covid epidemic.
Check out the panel video above.