Meet Newton Knight, the proud farmer who stood defiant against the Confederacy when the Deep South become embroiled in the American Civil War during the mid-1800s.
Rising up against acts of tyranny and emancipation, Knight instigated an armed rebellion that witnessed thousands of fellow farmers flock to support his fight for the Free State of Jones – a remarkable story now bound for the silver screen via Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit and Pleasantville.
At the center of that inspiring tale of Jones County is Matthew McConaughey, who takes point as Newton Knight for Ross’ Oscar-tipped drama. Had STX Entertainment not chopped and changed the release window, moviegoers would already be indulging in McConaughey’s Newton Knight and the plight of his fellow freedom fighters, but as it stands, expect Free State to open on June 24 opposite Independence Day: Resurgence.
Also on board for Ross’ Civil War drama are Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, and Mahershala Ali. There’s awards potential right across the board in Free State of Jones, but it’ll be interesting to gauge whether McConaughey’s take on such a powerful and indeed controversial figure strikes a chord with the Academy.
Matthew McConaughey and Co. will spark a rebellion when Free State of Jones opens in theaters on June 24.
Written and directed by four-time Oscar® nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), and starring Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.