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.
Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter has been building buzz for some time now, ever since a compelling trailer arrived online a few months back…and particularly after the film enjoyed a rave-review-filled run up at the TIFF. This weekend, Fantastic Fest’s programmers managed to snag the film for a very special, one-time-only screening for the film geeks currently mobbing the Alamo Drafthouse, and it’d be fair to say that the screening was just as difficult to get into as last night’s You’re Next screening. Anticipation was running high, the TIFF hype had done its job, and the screening was appropriately exclusive—but did the film live up to the hype? You’re gonna have to read on to find out, folks.
The Alamo Drafthouse has announced the final wave of programming for its upcoming Fantastic Fest. Included in this final batch of flicks the world premiere of director Tom Six’s The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence; Retreat starring Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton and Jamie Bell; Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope; and director Jeff Nichols’ drama Take Shelter starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain.
Hit the jump to see the full announcement of final wave films. Fantastic Fest 2011 runs from September 22nd – 29th in Austin, Texas and, for the record, I’m already disappointed in myself for not being there.
Director Jeff Nichols is looking at a trio of actors to star in his next film. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and The Tree of Life star Tye Sheridan are in negotiations to join Mud. Nichols is best known for 2007’s Shotgun Stories starring Michael Shannon, and most recently debuted his film Take Shelter (also starring Shannon) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Mud centers on a dangerous fugitive aptly-named Mud who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a 14-year-old boy in Mississippi. The boy decides to help the nice criminal escape the police and some pesky bounty hunters.
Chris Pine had been in talks to take on the role of the title character, but Variety now reports that McConaughey is eying the role. Sheridan will play the boy, while Witherspoon will play Mud’s soulmate who he’s trying to reunite with. Everest Entertainment is fully financing the film and company founder Lisa Maria Falcone will produce. You can read Matt’s review of Take Shelter here.
We’ve got some release date news for you this afternoon. First up, a couple of movies that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been slated. The financial crisis-centered drama Margin Call is now set for an October 21st, 2011 release (via Box Office Mojo). The film stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci. Additionally, Jeff Nichols’ intense psychological drama Take Shelter is set for a limited release on September 30th (via The Playlist) before going wide on October 7th. Starring Michael Shannon, the film generated a good amount of buzz at Sundance.
The release date for Pedro Alomodovar’s next film The Skin I Live In has been shifted from October 7th to October 14th. Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, the film stars Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeron out for revenge on the man who raped his daughter. Finally, IFC Films will release Julia Leigh’s dark psychosexual drama Sleeping Beauty on October 28th (via The Playlist). The film stars Emily Browning and was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival.
The trailer for Jeff Nichols’ intense psychological drama Take Shelter has gone online. I caught the film at Sundance and while I thought it could stand to lose a good twenty minutes to keep up the pacing and maintain the dread it creates in the first act, but the core of the story is fantastic and the performances are solid. The trailer tries to play up the psychological aspect of the story and that’s kind of necessary because after the recent spate of devastating tornados, most folks aren’t going to think that building a storm shelter is a crazy idea.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film stars Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, and Kathy Baker. Take Shelter opens October 7th.
Chris Pine may star in Mud, the new drama from Take Shelter writer-director Jeff Nichols. 24 Frames reports that Pine would play the title character, fugitive who encounters two 14-year-old boys who attempt to help him escape from an island in the Mississippi. Rather than the hard-charging hero Pine has played in his recent films, Mud “is both an unsavory and a redemptive character and who teaches the boys as much as he learns from them.” Producer Aaron Ryder (Memento) says the film is in the vein of Stand By Me. FilmDistrict, which has been cleaning up at Cannes, will distribute.
Folks familiar with Pine’s acclaimed work on stage will probably be less unsurprised to hear him talking on more serious dramatic work in films. He’s got a nice mix of action and drama coming up with the untitled Jack Ryan reboot churning through development, Star Trek 2 likely to shoot sometime this year, and Alex Kurtzman’s family drama Welcome to People. He’ll next be seen in McG’s action-comedy This Means War. As for Nichols, some folks loved Take Shelter, but I thought it moved a bit too slowly and could use a bit of editing even though star Michael Shannon was electrifying.
The release dates for a couple of Sony Pictures Classics flicks are now known. Director Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In is set to be released in the US in November, with a UK release date of August 26th. The film, an adaptation of Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, stars Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeron out for revenge on the man who raped his daughter.
Additionally, Jeff Nichols’ Sundance hit Take Shelter is slated for an October 7th release. Starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, the thriller tells the story of a husband and father trying to figure out if his dreams of an apocalyptic storm are a sign of things to come or a result of his own mental illness. Hit the jump to read the official synopsis for both films.
You might want to remember the name Jessica Chastain. The reason is while you don’t know her name right now, by the end of the year, you will. That’s because Chastain has been acting in a ton of high profile movies over the past few years and most are going to get released this year. Here’s the list: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, Ami Canaan Mann’s The Fields, John Madden’s The Debt, Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome, Tate Taylor’s The Help, and she’s about to start filming John Hillcoat’s The Wettest Country in the World opposite Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. As I said, she’s about to step into the spotlight.
At this year’s Sundance, I was able to sit down with Chastain for an extended video interview to talk about Take Shelter – which premiered at this year’s Festival. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories), the film is about a young husband and father that must decide whether to shelter his family from the storm, or from himself, after being plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions. The film stars Michael Shannon and he delivers an incredible performance. Of course one of the reasons he’s so great is being able to play off Chastain, who really impressed me as a young mother and wife.
During our extended conversation, we discussed her early TV work like NBC’s Journeyman, what it was like to work for Malick on Tree of Life and his next film which stars Ben Affleck, who she plays in Wettest Country, and so much more. If you’d like to learn a lot about this rising actress, hit the jump to watch the interview. I’ve also pulled some quotes about working for Malick which only make me more excited to see The Tree of Life.
Before the screening of Take Shelter, writer-director Jeff Nichols explained to the audience that he was attempting to tap into an emotion of dread and anxiety. For the first act of his movie, he’s wildly successful at capturing that feeling. Vivid, nightmarish dream sequences set the film up as a paranoid thriller. But then Nichols hits the breaks, stops the dreams, and the tension slowly leaves the picture as it moves at a glacial pace. While he’s able to eventually pick it back up at the end and come to an interesting conclusion, he is never able to reconnect with his audience.
As part of our ongoing coverage for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, we have the first images from Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter. Here’s the one-line synopsis: A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he’s feared his whole life. The film stars Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire), Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life), Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire), Katy Mixon (Eastbound & Down), and Kathy Baker (Edward Scissorhands).
Hit the jump to check out the images. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 – 30th.