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'Mud' & 'Take Shelter' Director Jeff Nichols Writing John Carpenter-Esque Project ‘Midnight Special'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 22, 2013 at 11:24AM

After making three distinct, small-scale films focusing on unique individuals caught in stories that could also be fables or fairy tales -- "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter," the upcoming "Mud" -- Jeff Nichols seems to want to shift gears a bit. He was on Fox's shortlist to take over "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" before it went to Matt Reeves, and over the summer he signed on to helm teen genius tale "The Boy Who Played With Fusion." In short, it seems like Nichols wants to play a bit more with genre material, and indeed, he's writing something we might not expect from him.
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Jeff Nichols

After making three distinct, small-scale films focusing on unique individuals caught in stories that could also be fables or fairy tales -- "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter," the upcoming "Mud" -- Jeff Nichols seems to want to shift gears a bit. He was on Fox's shortlist to take over "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" before it went to Matt Reeves, and over the summer he signed on to helm teen genius tale "The Boy Who Played With Fusion." In short, it seems like Nichols wants to play a bit more with genre material, and indeed, he's writing something we might not expect from him.

Up in Park City to get the word out about "Mud," Nichols stopped to talk with Movie Mezzanine and revealed what might be next. “Right now I’m working on this one called 'Midnight Special,' ” he said. “I won’t talk too much about it now, other than to say I kind of want to make a 1980s John Carpenter movie. If I had to choose one of those it would be 'Starman.' ” And yeah, given Carpenter's movies from that decade, somehow it seems fitting that Nichols would select "Starman," the film about an alien on the run from the government, as one he'd reference.

But before we get too excited, Nichols cautions that he's still writing it, and there could be something else that trumps it. “It’s interesting because I’m doing the same thing I did in the summer of 2008 where I’m writing two scripts at once," he said. "And so 'Midnight Special' is going to be a genre film put through whatever bizarre filter is me. And then I’m writing this other movie based on a documentary that will hopefully be austere, quiet, sad, and beautiful.”  

We're not quite sure what the documentary-related project is, and hopefully more details will come to light, but it sounds like Nichols continues to march down his own, exciting path, which is just fine by us. Until we see what's next out of the oven, "Mud" will hit theaters on April 26th. [via The Film Stage]

This article is related to: Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special, John Carpenter


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