“Pleasantville” and “Seabiscuit” writer/director Gary Ross in the midst of filming his followup to “The Hunger Games,” and it’s about as far away from the Districts as you can get.
“The Free State Of Jones” finds him teaming with Oscar-anointed Matthew McConaughey for a modest, $20-million budgeted true story Civil War drama. Here’s the official synopsis:
Set during the Civil War, The Free State of Jones tells the story of defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers, and with the assistance of local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. His marriage to a former slave, Rachel, and his subsequent establishment of a mixed race community was unique in the post-war South. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, which distinguished him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
The film is set for a March 11, 2016 release, but we wouldn’t be entirely shocked if the indie production sneaks onto the fall festival schedule somewhere. Check out the first look right up above. 4/23/15 Update: New photos from Time.