Tommy Lee Jones might have been chasing down Harrison Ford during the events of The Fugitive almost 30 (30!) years ago. But now the actors are trading out roles with Jones taking over for Ford in the latest movie that will star opposite Jamie Foxx. Deadline has it that Tommy Lee Jones will now play a major part in The Burial from Amazon. In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably a lateral move for the production with Ford had to drop out after originally signing on to play the part.
The Burial, now starring Tommy Lee Jones, is based on a New Yorker story by Jonathan Harr that was published all the way back in 1999. It tells the story of a lawsuit between a funeral director and another local businessman though at the center of it is the lawyer hired to argue the case. The latter is Willie Gary, a gregarious and confident lawyer who becomes as much a part of the story as the case itself. The original story details Gary’s legal background but also how he comes to work with Ray Loewen the funeral home director at the center of the story. Jamie Foxx will play Gary while Tommy Lee Jones will play Loewen, the part originally intended for Harrison Ford.
With Harrison Ford now out on The Burial, no other casting news outside of Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones has been officially announced for the Burial. The film will be directed by Maggie Betts whose 2017 film Novitiate won the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award that year. The Burial’s screenplay is penned by Doug Wright who is primarily known for his work on the stage. This will be the first major production for the creative team.
It is unclear why exactly Harrison Ford had to drop out of The Burial, in favor of Tommy Lee Jones, though it could have had something to do with the scheduling conflicts stemming from the filming of his last Indiana Jones film. Ford injured his shoulder in June of this year and the production timeline for that film had to be amended while he recovered. Ford wasn’t able to pick back up with shooting until late in September. Production didn’t completely shut down for this time, though it clearly was operating behind schedule. This is speculation of course, with the reasoning behind casting Tommy Lee Jones alongside Jamie Foxx not 100% clear at this point.
All three of these actors have been busy of late with Harrison Ford wrapping up his final stint as the aforementioned Indiana Jones when that film releases sometime next year. Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones is coming off roles in both Wander and The Comeback Trail last year, having taken something of a break during the pandemic. And Jamie Foxx has all kinds of new movies in the pipeline right now. He’s set to reprise his villain turn as Electro in this year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and next year will see him releasing The Cloned Tyrone and Netflix’s Day Shift in which he’ll be hunting down vampires. There is no official release date set for The Burial at this point with the cast still rounding out.