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Tom Epperson

Tom Epperson

The team had their first taste of fame with the critically-praised "One False Move" (1992). A violent character study-cum-road picture, it was well-directed by Carl Franklin and provided Thornton with a showy role as an ex-con. Critics generally found favor with the writers' delicate handling of interracial matters, but some faulted the script's structure. Despite this success d'estime, it was four years before another of their scripts was produced."A Family Thing" (1996) originated as an idea of actor Robert Duvall: what would happen to a man in his 60s who discovered his mother wasn't what he thought and that he was part-black. Epperson and Thornton developed the idea and crafted a warm, gentle comedy-drama, helped immensely by the presence of Duvall, James Earl Jones as his long-lost brother and relative unknown Irma P Hall as a wise elderly relative. That same year, the duo also scripted the muddled made-for-cable thriller "Don't Look Back" (HBO, 1996).Each has also pursued other projects: Thornton won notice for his "Sling Blade" (1996) while Epperson went on to co-produce (with Gary M. Bettman) and co-write (with director Stefani Ames), the noirish "A Gun, a Car, a Blonde" (1997). Together, Epperson and Thornton have several projects in development, including biopics of musicians Merle Haggard and Otis Redding.
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