Tom Blyth Says Adapting Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms ‘Is Daunting’

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Summary

  • Tom Blyth is excited yet daunted by the challenge of adapting Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel for the big screen.
  • Blyth trusts the quality of the source material and director Michael Winterbottom to deliver a great film adaptation.
  • He is the only actor cast so far for
    A Farewell to Arms
    , playing the role previously tackled by Gary Cooper and Rock Hudson in prior adaptations.



Actor Tom Blyth is taking on another historical tale for his next project, trading in the Old West of the Billy the Kid series on MGM+ for the World War I battlefields of A Farewell to Arms, a film adaptation of the classic Ernest Hemingway novel. In a new interview with MovieWeb’s Will Sayre, the Hunger Games actor described the film as a “daunting” challenge, but expressed confidence in the script and director Michael Winterbottom.

A Farewell to Arms tells the story of two people who find love in the midst of World War I in Europe, and is inspired by Hemingway’s own experiences as an ambulance driver during the war. Blyth will play Frederic Henry, an American expatriate serving in the Italian ambulance corps, who falls in love with the English nurse who treats him when he is wounded.



Tom Blyth on the ‘Daunting’ Challenge of Adapting Hemingway

“I’ve been such a fan of Hemingway for quite a few years. It’s one of my favorite books,” Blyth said of A Farewell to Arms. “And I was just like, ‘You kidding me?’ I got to play Billy the Kid, and then, after dreaming and doing lessons, now I get to do a Hemingway adaptation.”

Although Blyth admits being excited for the role, he understands the challenges and expectations that come with adapting a Hemingway book. He said:

I feel very lucky. But it’s daunting, I guess. It’s not so daunting, because the material is so good, because you’ve got a great book and a great script that they’ve adapted.


Although Blyth is the only actor cast so far, he has supreme confidence in the creative team behind the film, and the source material. “With (director) Michael Winterbottom at the helm… You’re in good hands, you know? It’s like, it would be daunting, the circumstances are daunting, but like, the material helps so much because this is just so good,” he said. “I feel like if I trust my technique and my process, and I trust the people that I’m working with, I trust the material, it’s gonna be great.”

Michael Winterbottom is a BAFTA Award winner for Best Film Not in the English Language for 2004’s In This World. He is best known as the director of Welcome to Sarajevo, 24 Hour Party People, and A Mighty Heart (2007) with Angelina Jolie. He has earned a reputation as a director who brings a unique vision to his films, and an ability to work in a wide variety of genres.


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Tom Blyth May Return to The Hunger Games

Tom Blyth had his breakthrough role in 2022 as the legendary outlaw William H. Bonney in the Billy the Kid series for MGM+. The first two seasons followed Billy as his reputation as an outlaw drew, and his involvement in the Lincoln County War. While the series has enjoyed good ratings and strong reviews from viewers, it has yet to be renewed for a third season.


In 2023, he had perhaps his most high-profile role to date, as Coriolanus Snow in the prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, the younger version of a character played by Donald Sutherland in the first four films. Blyth had previously expressed his interest in reprising his role as Snow, and since then, Lionsgate has announced a new prequel, Sunrise on the Reaping, with a 2026 release. The new film is set 40 years after The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, however, making it unlikely Blyth will appear again.

A Farewell to Arms has been adapted to film twice before, in 1932 with Gary Cooper in the lead role and a 1957 version starring Rock Hudson. It was made into a television miniseries in 1966. No release date has yet been announced for the Winterbottom film.

The second season of
Billy the Kid
is currently airing on
MGM+
. The first season is available to view for free without a subscription.


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