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After helping to launch The Hunger Games franchise with a $700M hit, some would assume writer-director Gary Ross wouldn’t have much trouble making another film. And yet, following that box-office and critical success, Ross still struggled to get a passion project of his made. For a decade, the director behind Seabiscuit and Pleasantville worked on Free State of Jones, which has finally made its way to theaters.

Once the Civil War drama, which stars Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight, acquired financing, Ross still found himself doing whatever he had to do to make the film, including paying a few salaries out of his pocket and working for DGA minimum. The director — who also wrote Dave and co-wrote Big — discussed his latest film and career with us. If you want to know more about Ross’ upcoming Ocean’s 11 spinoff, Ocean’s Eight, click here.

Below, read our Gary Ross interview. Read More »

Free State of Jones Trailer

It’s funny to think about just how far Matthew McConaughey has come in the past few years. As recently as 2010, he was better known for his tabloid coverage than or his acting career, which had largely devolved into dumb romcoms and dumber action flicks. But things started to turn around in 2011, with the triple-punch of The Lincoln LawyerBernie, and Killer Joe. These days, he’s got an Oscar on his mantel and has become a staple of serious prestige dramas.

His latest in that genre is Free State of Jones, director Gary Ross‘ follow-up to The Hunger Games. McConaughey plays real-life figure Newton Knight, a Southern farmer who rebelled against the Confederacy and tried to establish a mixed-race community in Mississippi. But before he gets there, he’s a reluctant participant in the Civil War, tasked with repairing men broken by battle. STX Entertainment has just released a five-minute Free State of Jones preview which reveals a major turning point in Knight’s life, and you can watch it after the jump.  Read More »

Free State of Jones Trailer

It’s been four years since director Gary Ross helped launch The Hunger Games franchise. Ross, who was concerned he wouldn’t have enough time to make the sequels, stepped away from the series, leaving the other installments in the hands of director Francis Lawrence. Perhaps using his clout from the success of the first film, the Seabiscuit and Pleasantville director’s follow-up to The Hunger Games is a fairly large-scale period drama set during the Civil War.

Free State of Jones stars Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Keri Russell (The Americans), and Mahershala Ali (The Hunger Games franchise). Below, watch the new Free State of Jones trailer.

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Free State of Jones Trailer

After fighting for the freedom of illegal slaves in Steven Spielberg’s period courtroom drama Amistad, this time Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey is taking on the Confederacy head-on in Free State of Jones. The film sees McConaughey leading the true story of Southern farmer Newt Knight who turns against the Confederacy that he once fought for and attempts to turn Jones County, Mississippi into a free state. And now the first Free State of Jones trailer shows off the epic Civil War drama. Read More »

McConaughey Civil War movie

It’s a Matthew McConaughey weekend as Interstellar hits theaters, but the actor isn’t resting on his latest work with Christopher Nolan. Today an announcement went out detailing plans that could team the actor with director Gary Ross. The project is a Civil War-era story called Free State Of Jones, in which McConaughey would play a Mississippi man from Jones County who secedes from the Confederacy to start his own state — the Free State of Jones.  Read More »