First Trailer for FREE STATE OF JONES Starring Matthew McConaughey

In my most anticipated of 2016 article posted last week I placed writer/director Gary Ross's Free State of Jones at number eleven and so one can imagine how pleased I am to finally see some footage from the upcoming civil war drama. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Newt Knight, a Southern farmer who led a rebellion against the Confederacy during the war. Knight's opposition to both slavery and secession, led the farmer and soldier to launch an uprising of poor white farmers that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a "Free State of Jones." Knight's relationship and post-war marriage to a former slave, Rachel Knight (Consussion's Gugu Mbatha-Raw), effectively established the region's first mixed-race community. While the nearly three minute trailer more or less seems to give away large portions of the films story that same story is so compelling it is difficult to deter my anticipation for the full film. McConaughey looks to be in full McConaissance mode as he leads the film with the charisma and layers of depth that crafted his resurgence a few years ago. Visually, the film looks stirring and I have enough faith in Ross alone (whose directing credits outside the initial Hunger Games film include Seabiscuit and Pleasantville while he also penned the screenplay for Big) that both his screenplay and his final product will be worthy of attention no matter how much the promotional material tends to give away. That said, I'm more than eager to see how the final product turns out and can't wait to see what drew Ross to this material. Free State of Jones also stars Keri Russell, Mud's Jacob Lofland, Mahershala Ali, Room's Sean Bridgers, great character actor Gary Grubbs and opens on March 11, 2016.



Synopsis: 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.