Play Spielberg in a film directed by Spielberg? No pressure.
The new film will be the first time director Joe Johnston (who also directed the original “Star Wars” and “John Carter”) has been involved in a feature film since 2008’s “Twilight.”
The film, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, follows a young farmer named Henry Fonda who teams with a horse named Tonto (Will Ferrell) to investigate a string of strange, mystical and violent murders, but what he and Tonto uncover takes them away from the familiar, peaceful world of a small Montana town.
“I’ve always wanted to work with Joe,” said director Johnston. “This project is very special to me because my grandparents saw this film when it was made and had the same reaction that so many people who saw it now—that this is a film that Joe would make.”
Johnston is best known for his role as the director of “Twilight,” which grossed more than $6 billion worldwide. He served as producer on “John Carter” and wrote the original screenplay for “Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace.”
“Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope” brought a $400 million domestic box-office gross. It also launched the career of a new generation of “Star Wars” fans.
In “Twilight,” Johnston had the challenge of giving Ferrell, who had never done a comedy before, a role in a movie that was much lighter and more comedic. The actor embraced the role, which took him from the town of Moon to the highlands of Scotland when he was 18 hours on location for the movie.
During the “Twilight” shoot, Johnston met with the actor through Skype.
“I said, ‘I’m so glad I got to meet you,’ ” Johnston recalls. “I realized just how brilliant he was, and how brilliant I was, to have an actor of