Benedict Cumberbatch in The Yellow Birds

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery is on a huge roll, with directorial attachments and screenwriting gigs coming out of the woodwork since the Sundance 2013. He’s writing and likely directing Pete’s Dragon, has a possible reunion with Casey Affleck in the project Two, and seems to have plenty of other projects brewing, such as The Old Man and the Gun with Robert Redford, and an adaptation of the graphic novel Torso. Now Lowery has been set to direct Benedict Cumberbatch in The Yellow Birds.

The film will be an adaptation of the novel by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers. The book follows two men who are sent to Iraq, and the bond between them as one, slightly older, tries to protect his younger comrade. Read More »

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Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe

Having spent most of the past decade overacting in one cheapie thriller after another, Nicolas Cage sometimes draws more jeers than applause these days, even though his fanbase is probably bigger than ever. And on the all-too-rare occasion that he finds a project worthy of his talents, it becomes clear that he can still bring it when he wants to.

One such showcase is Joe, David Gordon Green‘s gritty drama about an ex-con (Cage) who strikes up an unlikely bond with a troubled teen (Tye Sheridan of Mud and Tree of Life). The film made the festival rounds last year, and is now gearing up for theatrical release. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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After a string of comedy projects that began with Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green is pivoting back into drama with Joe. Adapted by Gary Hawkins from the novel by Larry Brown, the film follows an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who forges an unlikely bond with a troubled teen (Tye Sheridan of Tree of Life, and who was excellent in Mud) in a down-on-its-luck Texas town.

That’s a premise that could easily go mushy and sentimental, but what we’ve heard about the project so far suggests it leans more toward gritty and grim. A first-look photo has just hit in advance of the European Film Market, and you can check it out below.

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With the releases of Bernie, Magic Mike, and Killer Joe, 2012 may very well have been the best year of Matthew McConaughey‘s career. And don’t expect to see that momentum flag in 2013. McConaughey is starting the year off with Mud, a coming-of-age tale directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter).

The Tree of Life actor Tye Sheridan and newcomer Jacob Lofland play a pair of friends who come across a mysterious man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding out in the woods along the Mississippi. While he soon admits that he’s on the run for killing a man, they’re charmed by his romantic tales and agree to help him out. Their boyish adventure takes a sour turn, however, when Mud’s real problems entangle them in some very adult complications. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols is prepping his third film, Mud, and he’s just added quite a few actors to the cast. Take Shelter star Michael Shannon is on board for a small role, and Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks are all set to appear alongside leads Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan in the film that started shooting yesterday in Arkansas.

And if you’re afraid this sounds like just another low-key indie, read on for the director’s description, as he likens the film to Peckinpah directing a story by Mark Twain.

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One of the bigger festival hits of this past year was Jeff Nichols‘ second film Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. (Check the trailer for Take Shelter here.) The director has been planning to follow up that film with Mud, a story about a fugitive aided by a 14 year-old boy in a plan to reunite with the woman he loves. Earlier this year Chris Pine was said to be set for the title role. He seems to have dropped out, and now Matthew McConaughey will play the part instead, with Reese Witherspoon playing the object of his affection. Read More »

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