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Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, and More Join Jeff Nichols’ ‘Mud’

Written by on September 26, 2011 

By all accounts, it would appear that Michael Shannon is a favorite actor of Jeff Nichols. He’s served as the lead of both Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, and a press release informs us that the actor is now a part of Mud. He’s not the only one to join — also jumping on board are Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker, and Paul Sparks.

The story follows two fourteen-year-old boys (Tye Sheridan and “a boy named Jacob“) who find a criminal named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) on an island in the Mississippi. Instead of turning him in to authorities, they provide shelter; his goal is to get back to his true love (Reese Witherspoon) before authorities find him, and they help him out on this quest. Things might not be so easy, because it “isn’t long until their small Arkansas town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of hunters in tow.” Comments from the writer and director make it sound like a somewhat different experience than his first two features; if they’re as good, then I’m cool with it.

Shannon will play Galen, an uncle to one of the boys, while McKinnon and Paulson have similar roles as the parents of the other kid. Shepard has the part of Tom Blankenship, who’s mysteriously described as reclusive; wonder what that could lead to. Meanwhile, Baker and Sparks are “figures who are out for revenge.” These are all very nice additions, but I mostly love that a phenomenal actor like Shannon has found a frequent collaborator with the heavily talented Nichols.

With shooting beginning today, a release in late 2012 seems pretty likely. Two movies from this filmmaker in two years? Fine by me.

Do these new cast members make you any more excited for Mud? Which of these actors is your favorite?

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