It’s not often you see anyone in Hollywood roll the dice on mid-budget movie these days (even Michael Bay says so), but STX Entertainment are the new players in town hoping to fill that gap. The studio was recently profiled in a piece for New Yorker, which breaks down their approach to greenlighting movies, and serves as a fascinating window in how Hollywood operates. So, how does a movie like “Free State Of Jones,” a Civil War story, get greenlit? The first thing is getting an actor like Matthew McConaughey in a role suited to his talents.
It’s “a character fighting injustice, as in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ ” STX chief Adam Fogelson said about the movie, which follows a farmer who rises up against the Confederacy. “…some of it is brand extension, some of it is making an educated bet on trajectory, and some of it is him being the face of a hugely successful Lincoln campaign,” he added.
However, part of making movies like “Free State Of Jones” successful is also making smart decisions like spending $500,000 more on the opening battle sequence so that there’s “enough huge Civil War action to justify the more intimate movie that follows.”
See how it all works when “Free State Of Jones” opens on May 13th. Watch the first trailer below.