EXCLUSIVE: Director Jeff Nichols has added his Take Shelter star Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks to Mud, the drama that stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Production began today in Arkansas. Scripted by Nichols and produced by Sarah Green, Everest Entertainment’s Lisa Maria Falcone and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder, Mud is a coming-of-age drama centered on two 14-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Intrigued by the man, the boys try to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life. Nichols and Shannon are working together for the third time; besides Take Shelter, the Sundance and Cannes sensation that premieres September 30 through Sony Pictures Classics, they also worked together on Shotgun Stories. Shannon has also turned in stellar work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as the sexually repressed liquor-busting FBI agent, and he also stars in the Marc Forster-directed Machine Gun Preacher. Shannon is playing a villain in the Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel. Paulson next stars in the Sundance film Martha Marcy May Marlene. Shepard just starred opposite Brad Pitt in Cogan’s Trade. FilmNation’s Glen Basner is exec producing, and selling Mud in international territories. CAA and FilmNation are handling U.S. sales for Mud. Everest Entertainment most recently produced 127 Hours and Win Win.
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