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Jeff Nichols Goes Sci-Fi To Direct His First Studio Movie, Once Again Reteams With Michael Shannon

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 8, 2013 at 10:42PM

It was only a matter of time before the major studios came sniffing around "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter" and "Mud" director Jeff Nichols. In fact, they already have, with the helmer shortlisted last year for "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," but now he's finally inked his first studio deal and he's bringing a trusted friend with him.
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Jeff Nichols Michael Shannon

It was only a matter of time before the major studios came sniffing around "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter" and "Mud" director Jeff Nichols. In fact, they already have, with the helmer shortlisted last year for "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," but now he's finally inked his first studio deal and he's bringing a trusted friend with him.

Nichols will direct a currently untitled movie for Warner Bros., with Michael Shannon (aka General Zod in the studio's summer superhero movie "Man Of Steel") to star. Nope, there are no details specifically but Nichols wrote it, and it will be "a present day sci-fi chase film." And if this seems surprising to you, Nichols has always had these kinds of movies in his back pocket, as something he would like to do. In fact, he's already been talking up a John Carpenter-ish style project called "Midnight Special" -- is this it?

"I wanted to make a government chase movie. And see if I could make that not suck. Make that not cliché. And that's hard," Nichols told us last month about "Midnight Special" -- this sure sounds like it. And it's not really a surprise to see Shannon in the mix, as they two have a bond that makes collaborating a breeze, already evidenced by their three movies together.

"He's kind of like my big brother...I love Mike. He's shaped who I am as a filmmaker. I feel like I learned to direct by working with Michael Shannon, at least in terms of working with actors. Although that may not be a great thing – we have a real specific working relationship," Nichols also told us. "We don't really rehearse. We don't talk about too much. And some actors [laughs] want those things. But Mike and I, we're friends. We're colleagues. It's a very unique relationship. He's very important to me."

No word yet on when it will lens, but we're nonetheless eager to see Nichols work on a larger canvas. [Variety]

This article is related to: Jeff Nichols, Michael Shannon, Warner Brothers


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