Baylor filmmaker’s latest movie, ‘The Highwaymen,’ stars Costner and Harrelson
In a film career that’s spanned three decades, Baylor alum John Lee Hancock, BA ’79, JD’ 82, has written, produced and/or directed such hit movies as The Blind Side, The Rookie and The Founder. It might be hard to single out a single month that has been more special than others — but March 2019 has to be on the short list.
For starters, his 11th feature film, The Highwaymen, debuts on Netflix this Friday, March 29. The film has been in the works for more than a decade, but things moved quickly once Hancock signed on as director in 2018, and they’ll move even more quickly this Friday; once the movie drops, it will be instantly available in millions of homes across the country to all Netflix subscribers.
Featuring an all-star cast that includes Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson and Kathy Bates, The Highwaymen examines the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde from a different angle, following the Texas Rangers who stayed on the their trail and eventually brought down the original celebrity outlaws. (Watch the trailer below; language and violence warning.)
The Los Angeles Times notes that “Highwaymen is a decidedly grown-up meditation on the price of lives and the thoughtlessness of idol worship.” Entertainment Weekly says that “Hancock … shoots the film with a poetic eye for the landscape and the sort of Depression-era details you’d see in a Walker Evans photograph.” And the Chicago Sun-Times describes the film as “a crackling good lawman tale” and “a first-rate procedural.”
March has also been noteworthy for another reason: Hancock was inducted into the Austin Film Society Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 7. The Hall of Fame honors filmmakers “who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the Texas film and creative media industry.” The Highwaymen is the latest Hancock film set in his home state, along with A Perfect World, The Rookie and The Alamo.
“For a kid from Texas City,” Hancock told Texas Monthly, this is better than the Oscars.”
Sic ’em, John Lee Hancock!