Actor Michael Shannon, best known for his recurring role on Boardwalk Empire and his Academy Award-nominated supporting performance in Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road, and Mud director Jeff Nichols will team-up for an original science-fiction feature produced by Warner Brothers Pictures.
Shannon is quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities. This year he stars as mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman and goes full-blown Kryptonian as General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Currently you can see Shannon in Nichols’ Mud (read our review here), which marks the actor’s third collaborative effort with the director.
Shannon’s two breakout lead roles (and two of his finest performances) have come out of working with Nichols: 2007’s Shotgun Stories and 2011’s Take Shelter. Now, Shannon and Nichols are reuniting on their fourth project together, an untitled science-fiction film for WB.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. acquired the script before hiring Nichols to direct – so this would mark the first feature film Nichols has directed that he hasn’t written. Exact plot details are being kept under wraps but sources have described it as “a present day sci-fi chase film.” As The Film Stage points out, Nichols spoke about an upcoming project at Sundance that fits the description:
While at Sundance this year, Nichols revealed a project called “Midnight Special,â€ which sounds like it could possibly be the one. He said, â€œI wonâ€™t talk too much about it now, other than to say I kind of want to make a 1980s John Carpenter movie. If I had to choose one of those it would be “Starman”â€¦ [it’s] going to be a genre film put through whatever bizarre filter is me.â€
I’m really interested to see a Jeff Nichols science-fiction film. Until now, the Arkansas native has been interested in telling stories about rural America, and while Take Shelter involved apocalyptic prophecies, Nichols films are firmly grounded in reality. With that being said, I’m excited to see how his aesthetic and focus on character translates to a genre that, these days, is known more for bloated budgets and computer-generated spectacle than real storytelling.
[Sources: Variety via The Film Stage]