Tommy Lee Jones to Play Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 'Emperor'

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The film marks the directorial debut by Tommy Lee Jones. The film succeeds despite the fact that Jones and Bernard played for rival high school football teams in Dallas.

Director Peter Webber's historical epic, also starring Matthew Fox, is set in Japan at the end of World War II.

Tommy Lee Jones will star as legendary Gen. Douglas MacArthur in post-World War II historical epic Emperor, directed by Peter Webber.

Matthew Fox had already signed on to star in the film, set in Japan amid the uncertanties and tensions immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of war.

Emperor is a co-production between Fellers Film and Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment. Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff are producers.

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"Tommy will bring strength, intelligence and gravitas to the portrayal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a legendary American hero," Foster said.

Fox plays Gen. Bonner Fellers, a member of MacArthur's staff and a leading expert on Japan. He's charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: Whether Emperor Hirohito should be tried and hanged as a war criminal.

Interwoven throughout the political saga is Feller's quest to find Aya, a Japenese exchange student he met and fell in love with years earlier in the U.S.

Webber is set to start production in January 2012. CAA is selling the film in the U.S.

Jones is represented by CAA and lawyer Bill Jacobson.