Peter Webber, Emperor

Screen International, September 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Peter Webber, Emperor


Webber talks to Screen about his new historical drama which premieres in Toronto on Friday.

As with his first feature, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Peter Webber travels back in time to use history as inspiration in his new drama Emperor, which focuses on the days following Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces and the debate around Emperor Hirohito's trial as a war criminal. Tommy Lee Jones stars as General Douglas MacArthur, while Matthew Fox plays his protégé, who must head the investigation while struggling with the memories of his past love affair with a Japanese woman. The film premieres in Toronto on Friday.

What drew you to this particular subject?

I've always been interested in Japan and Japanese culture, and WWII is a particular interest of mine, as well. But most importantly, Ithink, it is a very timely subject matter. We live in an age where we have seen American power affecting great change. We've seen the difficulties of that - it's easy to win a war, very difficult to win a peace. I thought that this is a little-known story from a time that's pretty forgotten for us now that has lessons for us today.

How did the shoot go?

Like any shoot, there's never enough time and never enough money - that's the universal rule of filmmaking. It was fantastic to work a legend like Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox was a delight to work with. …

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