Lindsey Bahr
January 17, 2013 AT 12:00 PM EST

Who would you rather sit next to on a plane: General MacArthur or Tommy Lee Jones?

In the first official trailer for Emperor, Matthew Fox doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. The unlikely pair are on their way to Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and must determine whether or not Emperor Hirohito is a war criminal. They only have ten days to do so.

Click past the jump to watch the trailer, and remind yourself that Tommy Lee Jones can look as unhappy as he wants at awards shows, as long as he continues to nail lines like “let’s show them some good old-fashioned American swagger.”

Inspired by a true story, Jones plays General Douglas MacArthur, and Fox plays MacArthur protegé, U.S. Army officer Bonner Frank Fellers. The trailer shows them navigating the tense waters on behalf of their duty to the U.S., but also seems to show respect for their Japanese counterparts and the fact that the situation is more complicated than the U.S. might want to admit. Japanese actors Kaori Momoi and Toshiyuki Nishida also star in the historical epic.

Directed by Peter Webber, Emperor premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to a standing ovation. Emperor will be released in theaters on March 8.

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