[01/07/11 - 10:26 AM]
Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson Star in HBO Films' "The Sunset Limited," Debuting Feb. 12
Jones also directed and executive produced the film from a script by playwright Cormac McCarthy.

[via press release from HBO]


Directed By Tommy Lee Jones And Written by Cormac McCarthy From His Play "The Sunset Limited"; Produced By Barbara A. Hall; Executive Produced By Tommy Lee Jones

Academy Award(R) winner Tommy Lee Jones ("No Country for Old Men," "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada") and Academy Award(R) nominee Samuel L. Jackson (the "Iron Man" series, "Pulp Fiction") star in HBO Films' THE SUNSET LIMITED, debuting SATURDAY, FEB. 12 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Based on the play of the same name by eminent Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cormac McCarthy ("The Road," "All the Pretty Horses," "The Crossing"), THE SUNSET LIMITED is directed and executive produced by Tommy Lee Jones, written by McCarthy, produced by Barbara A. Hall, and is an HBO Films presentation of a Javelina Film Company production.

Other HBO playdates: Feb. 12 (12:25 a.m.), 13 (7:15 p.m.), 15 (1:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.), 20 (2:15 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), 26 (noon) and 28 (10:15 a.m., 9:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Feb. 17 (9:15 a.m., 8:00 p.m.) and 27 (9:30 a.m., 9:00 p.m.)

THE SUNSET LIMITED is a searing two-character drama that mixes humor and pathos while examining the relationship between strangers who are brought together by desperate circumstances. Set in a New York tenement apartment, the story focuses on two very different men - a deeply religious black ex-con (Samuel L. Jackson) who thwarts the suicide attempt of an asocial white college professor (Tommy Lee Jones) who tried to throw himself in front of an oncoming subway train, The Sunset Limited. As the one attempts to connect on a rational, spiritual and emotional level, the other remains steadfast in his hard-earned despair. Locked in a philosophical debate, both passionately defend their personal credos and try to convert the other.

Premiering in 2006 at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, Cormac McCarthy's "The Sunset Limited" opened off-Broadway in the fall of that year.

Tommy Lee Jones has enjoyed a rich association with the playwright and author, having starred in the film version of McCarthy's novel "No Country for Old Men," and has penned an adaptation of McCarthy's "Blood Meridian."

"THE SUNSET LIMITED is a classical dialectic rendered in modern vernacular," explains Jones. "It is two opposing viewpoints that consider very big issues: life and death, faith, the future of mankind. With Cormac McCarthy, the questions raised are always interesting and very often funny. If we can raise The Big Questions in a way that is fun for our audience to try to answer, then we've done our job. There's no reason you can't enjoy The Big Questions."

THE SUNSET LIMITED was shot in 12 days at the Garson Studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico, working from the text of Cormac McCarthy's play. Following several days of rehearsal with Samuel L. Jackson and McCarthy himself, Jones began to shoot the film, which was divided into 52 scenes, approaching the dialogue-driven script with the intention to honor the beauty and elegance of McCarthy's writing.

Says Jones, "We tried as hard as we could to observe and perform word for word and to perform the inherent strength of McCarthy's language. It needs to be very precise because the rhythms are the point."

Samuel L. Jackson admits to being slightly daunted by the scope of McCarthy's script. "Cormac's a good wordsmith, but I was worried about all these words I had to learn, because I hadn't exercised that muscle in a long time," he says. "It's very poetic and the big speeches are very musical and a lot of fun to act out."

The key to working within the confines of such a short shooting schedule and tackling page upon page of extensive dialogue and soliloquy-like narration is planning. Jones was meticulous in his design and preparation for the film.

"He plans, he studies, and he thinks," explains co-producer Wes Oliver. "Tommy's preparation is so complete and intense that when he shows up wearing many different hats, he's not looking for serendipity or magic. He works from craft and planning."

To meet the challenge of keeping a film that is set in one room visually interesting, it was decided to wild-wall the set so that sections of the walls and ceiling could be removed to accommodate various camera angles and give the actors freedom of movement.

Says production designer Merideth Boswell, who has worked on four previous films with Jones, "Tommy wanted the set to be very athletic. He wanted there to be enough circulation space for the actors to do what they needed to do. He wanted the walls to fly."

Boswell was delighted to discover that Cormac McCarthy had mechanical as well as literary prowess. While visiting the set, the former architect and engineer suggested ways to help facilitate the 11 sections of wild walls as they slid back and forth, in and out of the set. The key grip and construction coordinator were instrumental in devising a sleek, efficient system to cut down on re-set time, which was important with such a tight shooting schedule.

Director of photography Paul Elliott, who shot the film with a newly developed high-definition Sony F-35 camera, helped meet the challenge of keeping the film interesting visually. "They're in this space for the entire movie," explains Elliott. "Tommy and I talked a lot about the blocking and keeping it varied - finding the right camera moves, the right camera placement, the right lenses; when to move a camera; when to be still. We didn't want gratuitous camera moves flying all around the place just because we want to keep it moving. It became somewhat of an organic process."

  [january 2011]  


[10/25/16 - 02:18 PM]
VH1's Highly Anticipated "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party" to Premiere Monday, November 7 at 10PM ET/PT
Guests include Seth Rogen, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Jamie Chung, 2 Chainz, Naya Rivera, Ashley Graham, Jason Derulo, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Mike Epps, Kathy Griffin, Kelis, Ashlee Simpson & Evan Ross, Keke Palmer, Robin Thicke and Bella Thorne.

[10/25/16 - 01:16 PM]
Comedy Central Sets Election Night Programming
Highlights include a live one-hour telecast of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" airing at 11:00/10:00c.

[10/25/16 - 01:00 PM]
CMT's Annual "Artists of the Year" Celebration Continues to Rise Attracting Nearly 2 Million Viewers with Ratings Soaring More Than 20%
CMT spins the numbers for Thursday, October 20.

[10/25/16 - 12:38 PM]
Showtime(R) Accelerates World Television Premiere Date for "Zero Days" to Saturday, Nov. 5 at 9PM ET/PT
As the subject continues to make headlines across the U.S and world, this film becomes more relevant and powerful documentary as viewers are being confronted by these issues in their daily lives.

[10/25/16 - 12:01 PM]
"The 2016 SNL Election Special" Revisits Unpredictable Presidential Campaign
The hour-long telecast is set to air Monday, November 7 at 10:00/9:00c.

[10/25/16 - 11:26 AM]
Discovery Cruises Into SEMA to Find the Next Motor Monday Star
Discovery Casting will be scouting for new talent at the SEMA Auto show taking place November 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

[10/25/16 - 10:59 AM]
FYI Orders Season Five of "Married at First Sight" in Chicago
Production has already begun in Chicago, Illinois with the new season slated to air in 2017.

[10/25/16 - 10:14 AM]
TV One Joins Lexus for a Special Presentation of "Lexus Verses and Flow" Airing Wednesday, October 26 at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT
Dondré T. Whitfield hosts the special evening that blends music performances by chart-topping artists with spoken word presentations from top slam poetry artists.

[10/25/16 - 10:11 AM]
Video: Key Art and Trailer for Season Two of Original Scripted Drama, "The Art of More" Released
Returning for the new season are stars Dennis Quaid, who also serves as executive producer, Kate Bosworth, Cary Elwes and Christian Cooke.

[10/25/16 - 10:01 AM]
History's New Military Drama Series "Six" Premieres Wednesday, January 18 at 10PM ET/PT
The eight episode first season follows members of Navy SEAL Team Six, modern American warriors, whose covert mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working with terrorists.

[10/25/16 - 09:01 AM]
International Icon Lady Gaga to Perform at the "2016 American Music Awards(R)"
Lady Gaga is a nine-time American Music Award nominee and took home the win in 2010 for Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock.

[10/25/16 - 08:48 AM]
Bravo Media Goes Behind the Scenes of the Ultra Exclusive "Timber Creek Lodge" Premiering Monday, December 5 at 10PM ET/PT
It's all work and a lot of play at "Timber Creek Lodge," where viewers will go behind the doors of a five-star mountain retreat to see the on-and-off duty shenanigans of the resort staff working around the clock to provide the ultimate vacation experience.

[10/25/16 - 08:46 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts with "The Voice"
The Peacock stakes claim to the most-watched network among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/25/16 - 08:36 AM]
Jennifer Nettles to Host "CMA Country Christmas," Airing Monday, November 28, on ABC
Nettles, who is hosting the special for the seventh time this year, will release her first holiday album, "To Celebrate Christmas," October 28, on Big Machine Records.

[10/25/16 - 08:00 AM]
Video: Oy with the Poodles Already! Netflix's "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" Trailer Is Here!
"Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" launches Friday, November 25, everywhere that Netflix is available.