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Lionsgate and Roadside partner for rights of Jeff Nichols’ Cannes favourite Mud

Matthew McConaughey's resurrection continues with his lead role in Jeff Nichols' Mud

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions look set to acquire North American rights to Jeff Nichols’ Mud, the Cannes hit starring a freshly resurrected Matthew McConaughey with Reese Witherspoon and Nichols’ regular collaborator Michael Shannon.

The director of Take Shelter and Shotgun Stories was backed by Everest Entertainment – the team behind Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours – for Mud, which is planned for release in 2013. Everest Entertainment financed the film, producing with overseas distributor FilmNation Entertainment.

Set in Arkansas, the redemptive coming-of-age film follows McConaughey’s titular character Mud, a charismatic former fugitive whom befriends teens Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who assist Mud in evading the law.

Witherspoon plays Mud’s childhood friend Juniper, with whom he attempts to reconnect. Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon and Joe Don Baker also star in supporting roles.

Everest founder Lisa Maria Falcone produced the film with FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Sarah Green, the executive producer on Take Shelter, while Everest’s Tom Heller and Gareth Smith executive produced.

Producer Falcone said in a statement: “We have had an extraordinary journey with this film so far, from the rivers of rural Arkansas to the French Riviera, and it is fitting that our next step is with partners like Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.

“Their teams share our passion for unconventional, unique material, and they have a deep understanding of how to bring such distinctive films to market.”

Howard Cohen, co-prexy of Roadside Attractions.”Mud is a riveting mystery thriller set in American river country with a stellar cast by one of our greatest new cinematic voices, Jeff Nichols, and top specialty film producers Everest Entertainment.”

Lionsgate owns 43 per cent of Roadside and have successfully joined forces with the distribution company on J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call and Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage, which will be released in cinemas on September 14.

Cohen added: “We see it very much in keeping with films like Margin Call and the upcoming Arbitrage, which are quality, commercial, performance-driven films that benefit from the unique partnership of Lionsgate and Roadside, where we can each shine in our respective media.”

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