Jeff Nichols lands Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey for Ark. film | Rock Candy

Jeff Nichols lands Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey for Ark. film

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Reese Witherspoon image
Boom! This might be the point where Jeff Nichols moves from indie darling to mainstream auteur. Deadline New York reports that the Little Rock director is in talks with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey to star in his next film, "MUD," which is scheduled to shoot throughout Arkansas sometime this fall.

Here's a synopsis courtesy of The Agency, which is handling casting in Arkansas:

“Mud” written and to be directed by Nichols will begin filming this fall
in central and south Arkansas. It is a coming of age drama centered on two fourteen year old boys (Ellis and Neckbone) who encounter a mysterious fugitive (Mud) on an island in the Mississippi River. Intrigued by this man, the boys enter a pact to help him escape capture. A friendship evolves as Mud teaches the boys as much as he learns from them.

McConaughey would play "Mud." Witherspoon would play "Juniper," Mud's soul mate. Tye Sheridan, who was excellent in "Tree of Life," is in talks to play "Ellis." And the Agency's hoping to fill the role of "Neckbone" with an Arkansan. Details on the jump.

UPDATE: The open call is scheduled for the Little Rock Parkview Auditorium for this Sunday, August 14, from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Applicants should bring a non-returnable photo and anyone under 18 must have one parent or guardian.

UPDATE II: More casting details in this PDF.

Earlier: A Q&A with Jeff Nichols (June 22, 2011)

From The Agency:

We are looking to cast “Neckbone” in Arkansas! He should be Caucasian, 13-17 years old whose life experiences in a rural environment results in a hard edge and survival instinct. This role requires that he be comfortable in boats and water. Other outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and motor biking would be ideal.

This role is also auditioning in other states and Los Angeles. As proud Arkansans, this is an opportunity to showcase what The Natural State has to offer. Spread the word; encourage all who fit description to make application immediately.

We are also looking to cast “May Pearl” in Arkansas as well. She should be Caucasian, 15-17, a small town girl with natural beauty.

In addition casting will include approximately 400 actors, extras and stand-ins.

An open casting call is likely going to be held Aug. 14 in Little Rock. We'll let you know when a date is set.

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