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Wickedly Talented Jeff Nichols' MUD: Witherspoon, McConaughey, Shannon, Shepard, Sheridan & More

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 27, 2011 at 6:00AM

In our interview with Michael Shannon he mentioned a possible cameo in Jeff Nichols' MUD, the third feature from the writer-director, whose first two films, Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, star Shannon. "Wickedly talented," is how Shannon describes Nichols; "A throwback to the seventies [directors]…one of those guys who just kicks ass."
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Thompson on Hollywood


In our interview with Michael Shannon he mentioned a possible cameo in Jeff Nichols' MUD, the third feature from the writer-director, whose first two films, Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, star Shannon. "Wickedly talented," is how Shannon describes Nichols; "A throwback to the seventies [directors]…one of those guys who just kicks ass."

Shannon, as well as Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks, are now officially on board for MUD, joining stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life). Filming begins today in Nichols' home state of Arkansas. More details below. Sarah Green, Lisa Maria Falcone (Everest Entertainment) and Aaron Ryder (FilmNation) are producing, with Glen Basner (FilmNation) as exec-producer.

The coming-of-age drama centers on two fourteen-year-old Arkansas boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive (McConaughey) hiding on an island in the Mississippi. The teens decide to help the man evade capture and reconnect with his lost lady (Witherspoon). Sure enough, she appears, pursued by hunters (Baker and Sparks). Shannon plays one boy's uncle and Paulson and McKinnon the other boy's parents.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Video, In Production, Drama, Interviews


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.