After having raised Clark Kent together in the DCEU, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane teamed up once more for writer-director Thomas Bezucha’s Let Him Go. Unfortunately, their son meets an untimely demise in this family drama, which arrives in theaters November 6. The grieving couple are left to pick up the pieces and hopefully bring his wife and child home with them – if they can defeat the other family who has both in their grasp.
Bezucha spoke to Screen Rant about the themes of loss, family loyalty, and tribalism present in Let Him Go, as well as how honored he felt to be working with such a talented cast.
Thomas, the scope of the film is huge, but it still feels so intimate and real. It’s hard to imagine two more iconic and well-respected actor than Kevin Costner and Diane Lane together, and the fact that they played Superman’s parents couldn’t have escaped you. How does that casting help inform the tension and themes in the film?
Thomas Bezucha: Well, you hit the jackpot when you get the two of them, and then you really just sort of stand back and try to stay out of the way as much as possible. But it was great. Because of playing Clark Kent’s parents, they had a tiny bit of a shorthand, and I had been able to see them on a screen together and had an idea of what to do.
And one of the things I loved is what you said; it’s an epic thriller in some respects, but what drew me to the material was this intimate portrait of a marriage. You look at Kevin and Diane, and they feel like ketchup and mustard. That makes sense to me.
The title of the film could have multiple interpretations, and really speaks to the different perspectives of the movie. Can you talk to me a little bit about how it relates to the film’s themes?
Thomas Bezucha: Sure. I wish I could take credit for it, but we’ll give it to Larry Watson, who wrote the novel. But yeah, I think it speaks to the theme of loss and squaring that loss. And I think for Margaret, Diane Lane, her character can’t reconcile herself to the loss of her son, and then the threat of losing her grandson. It also speaks to – be careful for what you wish, right? The price you’ll pay for what you want, can be more than you can imagine.
Both families seem very tribal within their own family clans. Can you speak to that theme, and maybe what audiences might take away from that?
Thomas Bezucha: I think it is that tribalism, right? We all think we’re right. They’re wrong. I talked with Lesley and Diane about Blanche and Margaret’s characters, and I always saw them as the flip sides of the same coin. In terms of the movie, you just don’t know the final flip; how that coin is going to land
You’re also one of the writers of the screenplay. Can you talk about some of the challenges you face as the director and writer, but also how that helps inform your directing of the actors?
Thomas Bezucha: It helps me with the actors, because they think I know what I’m doing. Because they’ve read the screenplay, and I as a director can fudge over the things that I didn’t do very well in the screenplay. No, it’s sort of fun. I found the book that Larry Watson wrote, I had the pleasure of boiling it down and seeing the movie in my head. You plan a party, and then you have the joy of throwing it and bringing these actors.
When you get Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, and Lesley [Manville] and Kayli [Carter] and Jeffrey Donovan, they bring things you never could have foreseen. And Booboo Stewart, who was a spectacular partner in a not very big role, as Peter Dragswolf – he’s so great. They’re all a joy to work with. Will Brittain, who plays Donnie, they all brought it.
More: Kevin Costner Interview for Let Him Go