Actor Michael Shannon is once again reuniting with director Jeff Nichols for his next project. The duo have previously worked together on the critically acclaimed Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, and now turn their sights to Mud. Production on the “Deep South” drama penned by Nichols began today in Arkansas. The coming-of-age tale centers on two boys who come upon a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Excited at the prospect of danger and adventure, they enter into a pact together to help the man escape and reunite him with his lost love. Mud also stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life).
Other recent additions to the cast of Mud include Sam Shepard (The Notebook), Sarah Paulson (Serenity), Ray McKinnon (The Blind Side), Joe Don Baker (Goldeneye) and Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire). Hit the jump for more info on the principal cast and full press release.
The casting news is rife with proven talent as well as up-and-coming actors. Top-most among them, Michael Shannon, who just finished Premium Rush with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is currently starring as General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. In Mud, Shannon plays “Galen,” one of the boys’ uncles. Shepard, who will place the reclusive “Tom Blankenship,” has a busy 2012 season lined up with four movies slated to release, chief among them, Brad Pitt-starrer, Cogan’s Trade. Paulson stars in the Sundance film Martha Marcy May Marlene coming to theaters this Octber. She will be playing the mother of one of the boys, along with McKinnon as the father. Check out the full press release below:
SAM SHEPARD, MICHAEL SHANNON AND SARAH PAULSON JOIN JEFF NICHOLS’ MUD STARRING MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND REESE WITHERSPOON
Los Angeles, September 26, 2011…Academy Award© nominee Sam Shepard, Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon and Golden Globe nominee Sarah Paulson have joined the cast of the feature film MUD, written and to be directed by Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER). Academy Award winner Ray McKinnon (THE BLIND SIDE), Joe Don Baker (GEORGE WALLACE) and Paul Sparks (BOARDWALK EMPIRE) have also come on board. They join previously announced Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Lensing begins today in Arkansas.
Sarah Green is producing, along with Everest Entertainment topper Lisa Maria Falcone through her shingle. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will also produce. Glen Basner will executive produce for FilmNation, which is selling MUD internationally. FilmNation and CAA are handling U.S. sales.
MUD is a coming-of-age drama centered around two fourteen-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Intrigued by this man, they enter into a pact to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life. Though it is hard for the boys to discern truth from fiction when it comes to Mud, it isn’t long until their small Arkansas town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of hunters in tow.
Shepard will play the reclusive character of ‘Tom Blankenship.’ Shannon will play ‘Galen,’ the uncle of one of the boys, and Paulson and McKinnon will play the parents of the other. Baker and Sparks are figures who are out for revenge.
Shepard most recently starred in BLACKTHORN, directed by Mateo Gil and just wrapped production in COGAN’S TRADE, opposite Brad Pitt. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the acclaimed film THE RIGHT STUFF, and also starred in BLACK HAWK DOWN and THE NOTEBOOK. He is repped by ICM.
Project will be a reunion of sorts for Shannon and Nichols as Shannon stars in Nichols’ acclaimed TAKE SHELTER, an award-winner from Sundance and Cannes which opens September 30. The pair also worked together on Nichols’ first film SHOTGUN STORIES. Shannon can also be seen in Marc Forster’s MACHINE GUN PREACHER, and is currently filming Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot MAN OF STEEL. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. He is repped by CAA and Byron Wetzel Management.
Paulson will next star opposite Elizabeth Olsen in this season’s buzzed about thriller MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, directed by Sean Durkin. The film opens on October 21st. In February Sarah stars opposite Julianne Moore in HBO’s GAME CHANGE. Paulson can also be seen in this fall’s new drama by Ryan Murphy, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, airing on FX starting this October. She is repped by UTA and manager Perry Kipperman.
Green’s credits include the Untitled Terrence Malick Project, TAKE SHELTER, THE TREE OF LIFE and FRIDA.
Everest Entertainment’s credits include Danny Boyle’s 127 HOURS, nominated for six Academy Awards, and the acclaimed Tom McCarthy film WIN WIN, starring Paul Giamatti.
FilmNation also handled international sales for Nichols’ TAKE SHELTER. The company recently completed HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, starring Jennifer Lawrence (X-MEN FIRST CLASS) and THE RAVEN, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe.