With just two feature films, Dee Rees has shown she’s a director who can elicit powerful performances from the actors she works with. “Pariah” gave a showcase role to Adepero Oduye, while last year’s biopic “Bessie” saw Queen Latifah take home a SAG award, and earn a Golden Globe nomination for her turn as the famous blues singer. Now Rees is working with her most notable cast yet, and there’s plenty of reason to be excited.
Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and Jason Mitchell are in negotiations to star in “Mudbound.” Based on the book by Hillary Jordan, with a script by Virgil Williams (“Criminal Minds,” “ER,” “24“), the post-WWII story follows a woman who moves with her husband to his farm on the Mississippi Delta, and the war veterans — one black, one white — who work the land, in the still racially charged Jim Crow South. Here’s the book synopsis:
It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm―a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family’s struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura’s brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not―charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South.
The project will be shopped in the weeks ahead, seeking a distributor. Let’s hope this package of talent finds a home and cameras get rolling soon. [Variety]