In case yesterday’s piece about “The Iceman” didn’t clue you in, we’re big fans of Michael Shannon around here. Last year, the actor shined in Jeff Nichols‘ psychological drama “Take Shelter,” but before they made that film, the duo teamed on Nichols’ directorial debut “Shotgun Stories,” a beautiful Southern-gothic family drama produced by David Gordon Green.
With “Shotgun Stories,” Nichols presumably saved some coin by recruiting his brother Ben Nichols, frontman of Souther-rockers Lucero, to score the film. And while “Take Shelter” saw DGG regular David Wingo (“George Washington,” “All The Real Girls“) take over scoring duties, it looks like the siblings are set to reunite once more for Nichols’ latest film “Mud,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Shannon in a small role.
A recent profile in the LA Times on the more senior of the Nichols brothers, Ben, notes that he had been “working overtime at Memphis’ Ardent studios, tightening up songs for his younger brother, director and screenwriter Jeff Nichols’ next film.” With Wingo already on board for the film’s score, it remains to be seen if Nichols is replacing him or simply assisting Wingo and/or providing more musical accompaniment. Either way, the re-teaming of the brothers and their strongly akin visual/aural sensibilities can only result in good things.
An earlier interview with the Lucero frontman in The Vinyl District last fall reveals that he, in fact, “was supposed to be in a scene with Reese Witherspoon, but I was in Texas, so they had to have someone else do it. I was really pissed off about that.” He also describes the film as a “modern day ‘Huckleberry Finn‘” which certainly fits the fairytale-like synopsis about an unlikely friendship between a fugitive (McConaughey) and a 14-year-old boy (“The Tree Of Life” star Tye Sheridan) who helps him escape off an island in Mississippi, evade the law and bounty hunters, and reunite him with his sweetheart Juniper (Witherspoon). Sam Shepherd and Sarah Paulson also co-star in the film.
“Mud” has been noted as a longshot for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival where “Take Shelter” screened last year and took home the Critics’ Week Grand Prix. Could a planned Croisette appearance be why Ben is working so hard to finalize the music now? Either way, we’re sure it’ll show up on the fall festival circuit.
Here’s one of the prominent tracks featured on “Shotgun Stories” entitled “Hold Me Close.” It was seemingly redone as an orchestrally-backed acoustic instrumental (a version we unfortunately can’t track down) but this is the equally great version by Nichol’s band Lucero.