Tom Waits to star in Hughes brothers' bizarro western

Tom Waits to star in Hughes brothers' bizarro western

Tom Waits at vocal lessons, sponsored by Marlboro reds.

It's been a spell since Waits released his staggering triptych Orphans, and even longer since he graced the silver screen in any meaningful capacity.

So now hear this one-two punch of good news-- the quixotic junkyard crooner will not only star in the upcoming Hughes brothers film The Book of Eli, but is at work once more with his wife Kathleen Brenan on a new body of songs to be recorded this summer.

A Tom Waits "press conference." We beg of you-- watch to the end.

Let's forget that it's the Hughes brothers first outing since the detestable 2001's From Hell, a vaudevillian cinematic mockery of Alan Moore's impressionistic magnum opus of the Jack the Ripper slayings. And, for that matter, let's forget that their own description of The Book of Eli as a post apocalyptic westworld, in which a lone survivor pursues a mythical tome, sounds like something Cormac McCarthy might have sneeked and spat upon.

The point is that, even in realtively terrible films, Waits is as magnetic a screen presence as actors many times his experience and training. Will the film be able to support his off-beat humor, or is Waits taking a turn for the dramatic? Time will tell.

Also according to Pitchfork, a new body of songs is currently under grooming with Waits and his wife, slated for a summer recording session. There's no mention of it on Waits' admittedly outdated website, but keep your eyes on the gutter-- there just might be another Waits gem rolling along with all the other offal in short order.

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