Several “red flags” went up for John Lithgow when he first heard about his latest project “The Tomorrow Man.” The film by director Noble Jones was an independent film from a first-time feature film director, who would be shooting it in addition to writing it.
But Jones is an accomplished music video director for Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Mary J. Blige, and he can also boast having David Fincher as a mentor. And when Lithgow read the screenplay and found out his co-star would be none other than Blythe Danner, he was sold.
“Should I take the chance,” Lithgow told TheWrap’s Steve Pond ahead of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “And then I got together with Noble, and there’s something about him, you just trust this is going to be great. And he also comes out of a long history with David Fincher. We found out in no time he knew exactly what he was doing.”
In “The Tomorrow Man,” Lithgow plays a divorced, outdoorsman type in the Midwest who spends his days preparing for the end of the world. He then meets Danner’s character and kicks off an unexpected romance.
“It’s essentially watching these two lovely people kind of dance around each other as they determine who they are and wondering whether or not they’ll be compatible essentially,” Jones said. “The idea was to see a love affair blossom at a point in life where you wouldn’t expect it.”
Lithgow says the story is even more unusual and unexpected than it sounds. He explains in one sense it’s a “boy meets girl” story, but he describes the film’s tone as “unique,” adding that it “works like a dream.”
“It’s a wonderfully warm and funny film, but it has this undertow of melancholy and dread, which will make sense to you when you see it,” Lithgow said. “All we can say is, there’s nothing that I can think of to compare this film to. You’ll see, it’ll surprise you no matter what I say.”
“The Tomorrow Man” made its premiere at Sundance on Jan. 30. The film was acquired by Bleecker Street for North American release. Watch Lithgow, Danner and Jones in the video above.
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