Throughout the so-called McConaissance, Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey has explored the far reaches of space in Interstellar and flipped the bird at AIDS in Jean-Marc Vallée’s decorated character drama, Dallas Buyers Club.
Now ostensibly on the other end of a meteoric rise that witnessed the actor transform from romcom stalwart to a magnetic screen presence – thanks as much to his meaty film slate as McConaughey himself – the award-winning star only continues to line up eye-catching projects, the latest of which being Gary Ross’ Civil War drama, Free State of Jones.
Set to open later this month, Ross’ awards-friendly picture is inspired by the true story of Newt Knight (McConaughey), a defiant Southern farmer who rallied his fellow countrymen to rise up against the Confederacy and, essentially, put Jones County on the map as an independent state during one of the country’s more troubled periods.
In catapulting moviegoers back to the mid-1800s, Gary Ross has assembled the likes of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali to star opposite McConaughey. At least on paper, there’s plenty of Oscar potential emanating from Free State of Jones even so far out from awards season. But will Ross’ true-life drama be jostling for a place later this year? We’ll find out once the film premieres in a few weeks’ time.
Free State of Jones sparks a civil uprising when Gary Ross’ Oscar-tipped period drama marches into 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.