By MCN Editor



Los Angeles, September 26, 2011 — Academy Award nominee Sam Shepard, Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon and Golden Globe nominee Sarah Paulson have joined the cast of the feature film MUD, written and to be directed by Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER).  Academy Award winner Ray McKinnon (THE BLIND SIDE), Joe Don Baker (GEORGE WALLACE) and Paul Sparks (BOARDWALK EMPIRE) have also come on board.  They join previously announced Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan.  Lensing begins today in Arkansas.

Sarah Green is producing, along with Everest Entertainment topper Lisa Maria Falcone through her shingle.  FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will also produce.  Glen Basner will executive produce for FilmNation, which is selling MUD internationally.  FilmNation and CAA are handling U.S. sales.

MUD is a coming-of-age drama centered around two fourteen-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi.  Intrigued by this man, they enter into a pact to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life.  Though it is hard for the boys to discern truth from fiction when it comes to Mud, it isn’t long until their small Arkansas town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of hunters in tow.

Shepard will play the reclusive character of ‘Tom Blankenship.’  Shannon will play ‘Galen,’ the uncle of one of the boys, and Paulson and McKinnon will play the parents of the other.  Baker and Sparks are figures who are out for revenge.

Shepard most recently starred in BLACKTHORN, directed by Mateo Gil and just wrapped production in COGAN’S TRADE, opposite Brad Pitt.  He was nominated for an Academy Award for the acclaimed film THE RIGHT STUFF, and also starred in BLACK HAWK DOWN and THE NOTEBOOK.  He is repped by ICM.

Project will be a reunion of sorts for Shannon and Nichols as Shannon stars in Nichols’ acclaimed TAKE SHELTER, an award-winner from Sundance and Cannes which opens September 30.  The pair also worked together on Nichols’ first film SHOTGUN STORIES.   Shannon can also be seen in Marc Forster’s MACHINE GUN PREACHER, and is currently filming Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot MAN OF STEEL.  He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD.  He is repped by CAA and Byron Wetzel Management.

Paulson will next star opposite Elizabeth Olsen in this season’s buzzed about thriller MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, directed by Sean Durkin.  The film opens on October 21st.  In February Sarah stars opposite Julianne Moore in HBO’s GAME CHANGE.  Paulson can also be seen in this fall’s new drama by Ryan Murphy, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, airing on FX starting this October.  She is repped by UTA and manager Perry Kipperman.

Green’s credits include the Untitled Terrence Malick Project, TAKE SHELTER, THE TREE OF LIFE and FRIDA.

Everest Entertainment’s credits include Danny Boyle’s 127 HOURS, nominated for six Academy Awards, and the acclaimed Tom McCarthy film WIN WIN, starring Paul Giamatti.

FilmNation also handled international sales for Nichols’ TAKE SHELTER.  The company recently completed HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, starring Jennifer Lawrence (X-MEN FIRST CLASS) and THE RAVEN, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe.

About Everest Entertainment

Everest Entertainment collaborates with independent filmmakers who create with passion and integrity to bring distinctive, moving, memorable windows on life into the public domain. The company is global in scope and in the identification, support and recognition of great talent.  Everest’s credits include Danny Boyle’s 127 HOURS, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.  The company also produced the acclaimed Tom McCarthy film WIN WIN, starring Paul Giamatti, and Rodrigo Garcia’s MOTHER AND CHILD, starring Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson.  Founded in 2008 by Lisa Maria Falcone, Everest Entertainment is a New York City-based production company committed to developing high quality entertainment, with film and television divisions based on strong writing, complex characters and meaningful subjects, and a music division creating ground-breaking cross-genre records in collaboration with the most outstanding producers and artists of our time. The legacy of Everest Entertainment projects continues long after the release of a film or series or record through a substantial investment in ongoing philanthropic programs related to the theme of each work.

About FilmNation Entertainment

One of the leading independent international sales & distribution and production companies in the world, FilmNation Entertainment was founded in 2008 by veteran international sales executive Glen Basner.

FilmNation is currently in development and fully financing an untitled Oren Peli project; in development on James McTeigue’s MESSAGE FROM THE KING from writers Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell; F*CKING ENGAGED which will star Jessica Biel; THE FACES to be directed by Paul Solet; THE AMATEUR AMERICAN directed by Ross Katz; and Guy Hibbert’s (OMAGH, BOY SOLDIER) screenplay EYE IN THE SKY with Oliver Hirschbiegel (DOWNFALL, DAS EXPERIMENT) attached to direct.

FilmNation Entertainment’s international sales slate includes: Relativity Media’s Untitled Snow White project starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer; LOLA VERSUS starring Greta Gerwig; director Zhang Yimou’s THE FLOWERS OF WAR starring Christian Bale; WETTEST COUNTY starring Shia LaBeouf; GAMBIT starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz; SEEKING JUSTICE starring Nicolas Cage; LOOPER starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Terrence Malick’s untitled love story starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, and Rachel McAdams; UNDER THE SKIN with Scarlett Johansson; THE ORANGES with Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, and Leighton Meester; and MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN, based on Salman Rushdie’s award-winning international bestselling novel.

In addition, they handled international sales on Academy Award Best Picture winner THE KING’S SPEECH and Pedro Almodóvar’s LA PIEL QUE HABITO (THE SKIN I LIVE IN).

FilmNation has delivered on its philosophy of providing an unrivaled level of “added value” for its clients across all aspects of its business and serves as the exclusive international sales agent for Relativity Media, Media Rights Capital (MRC), Samuels Media Group, GreeneStreet Films and a non-exclusive multi-picture deal with Endgame Entertainment.

For more information please go to: or follow FilmNation on twitter

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon