Jeff Nichols, who earned widespread acclaim for his dramas Take Shelter and Mud, has next lined up Loving, a drama he wrote and will shoot this September. Warrior actor Joel Edgerton and World War Z actress Ruth Negga are attached to lead the drama in the roles of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple at the center of 1967 civil rights case Loving v. Virginia.
The Lovings were an interracial couple who married in June of 1958, only for their union to be met with violence and legal repercussions. Authorities broke into their home, arrested them and sentenced each to a year in a Virginia state penitentiary. The sentence was dismissed on the condition that both of them left Virginia and did not return, a compromise neither wanted to simply accept. Over nine strenuous years, the Lovings battled against a racially prejudiced system to find their way home together.
This isn’t the first collaboration for Nichols and Edgerton – the actor stars in Nichols’ upcoming sci-fi film Midnight Special. Before taking on Loving, he will star opposite Johnny Depp in Black Mass and see his directorial debut, thriller The Gift, open this summer. For her part, Negga is shooting the AMC series Preacher and recently wrapped a role in big-budget blockbuster Warcraft. Both are definitely stars on the rise who’ll surely benefit from a two-hander like Loving.
Nichols stated, “I was struck by the simplicity of the Loving’s story, and I hope to make this a painfully beautiful film.” Given his stellar track record, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. The director has played in indie territory for multiple years, and though the success of his two latest films has led him to be courted for bigger projects (like Warner Bros.’ Aquaman, for which he’s reportedly one of the multiple writers), Nichols is sticking by the kinds of raw, heartfelt stories that put him on the map.
Loving rolls cameras this fall.