Matthew McConaughey isn’t going back. Ten years ago, he starred in the big-budget misfire Sahara and wore the golden handcuffs of mediocre romantic comedies. But after the McConnaisance that led to his Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey acted for Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), and Cary Fukunaga (True Detective).
He’s now partnering with writer/director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) to tell the true story of Mississippi farmer Newt Knight, who rebelled against the Confederacy during the Civil War and led other white farmers and local slaves to establish the Free State of Jones, in Jones County, Mississippi.
McConaughey will star opposite Keri Russell, who plays his first wife, Serena, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays his second wife, Rachel, a former slave. Through his second marriage, Knight established a unique mixed-race community in the post-war South and continued his struggle into Reconstruction.
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The poster captures the intense gaze of the actor, reflecting the most famous image of Knight. It also evokes the powerful and almost fanatical glare of John Brown, the abolitionist who led a slave revolt and was hanged for his raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859.
STX Entertainment will open Free State of Jones on May 13.