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Trailer: Civil War-Set ‘Free State of Jones’ (Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Mahershala Ali)

Trailer: Civil War-Set 'Free State of Jones' (Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Mahershala Ali)

Motion picture and television studio STX Entertainment has released the first trailer for the theatrical feature “Free State of Jones” – the “epic action-drama” (as the press release describes it) written and directed by Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games,” “Seabiscuit,” “Pleasantville”), and stars Matthew McConaugheyGugu Mbatha-RawKeri Russell and Mahershala Ali. 

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.

STX Entertainment plans to release the movie nationwide on May 13, 2016. IM Global co-financed the flick and will be releasing it internationally with Route One Entertainment and Union Investment Partners, who are also co-financing.

The film is produced by Scott Stuber (“Ted,” “Safe House”) through his Blue Grass Films shingle, with Jon Kilik (“Foxcatcher,” “The Hunger Games”) producing through his Jon Kilik Productions, and Gary Ross producing through his Larger Than Life Productions.

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This looks interesting


The movie is a white savior movie at its finest, so I will see the Nat Turner movie in its place.


Holy crap. The comments on YouTube for the trailer. All the white supremacists are coming out of the woodwork like the cockroaches they are. They really, really hate Newton Knight. This will tell the truth about how the Confederate Army also bled the poor whites dry.

They should make movies about Robert Smalls. There are Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman biopics this year. But the story of the Free State of Jones also needs to be told.


An antidote to the Gone With the Wind and Birth of Nation? I’ll take a look at that even if it does fall into the so-called white savior motif. If that what it takes to start demolishing white supremacy, I’ll take the progressive white savior motif–especially if challenges the 2016 racist crap that is cropping up in this election year. And yes, Spike Lee ought to make a film about Robert Smalls who stole a Confederate naval vessel and delivered it to the Union navy.


This just gave me chills. Can’t wait!… And, also anticipating Nate Parker’s NAT TURNER this year.


The release date is actually May 13, 2016.


I’ll pass on this movie. I’m so tired of white savior and slavery movies. There are so many black experience stories to be told. Where are the movies based on what was happening in the 60 and 70s in the black communities? Where are the black biopics? Where are the movies about the current black experience? Dope was brushed aside quickly to force on Straight Out of Compton. Creed is mentioned only by the white entertainment journalist to talk only about Sylvester Stallone – they dismiss the main character and his girlfriend who are black.


Excited to see it!


I’m now mad at Ken Burns. He only included a 5 minute segment on the ‘Emperor of Jones’ – Newton Knight. He should have made the whole Civil War series about him. This has to be the first movie ever about Southern Unionists. Will piss off no end the nutcase Lost Causers.


I’m most certain a few critics (you know who) will label this movie as embellished and claim most of this didn’t happen. Looks good though, can’t wait to see it.


Gugulethu is the new queen of period movies.

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