A new drama from writer/director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) titled Free State of Jones is now playing in theaters. The film follows the true story of Newton Knight, a farmer in Civil-War era Mississippi who abandoned the Confederate Army and formed a militia consisting of both white farmers and African-Americans who took over and declared Jones County an independent state. Ross adapted the screenplay from author Victoria Bynum’s The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, although there are numerous publications of Knight’s stance in Jones County. Appearing as Newton Knight is Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyer’s Club), who is joined onscreen by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Jupiter Ascending), Mahershala Ali (House of Cards, The Place Beyond the Pines), Keri Russell (The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Christopher Berry (Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave), and Jacob Lofland (Mud, The Scorch Trials). This is definitely a lesser-known portion of American history, but one that is definitely intriguing, although I will say that the trailer reads a bit like The Patriot. If you’re looking for an evening out this week, keep this one on your list. The trailer is available here on MADE.
The next chapter in the Planet of the Apes reboot project from Twentieth Century Fox is coming to theaters this Friday, once again featuring motion-capture master Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) in the role of Caesar. Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out in 2011 and ended with a mutated virus spreading across the globe and beginning to wipe out mankind from existence. Now in the years after the breakout, a band of humans lead by Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Leon: The Professional) are heading out to wage war against Caesar and reclaim their dominant-species status on Earth. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also features Keri Russell (August Rush, Mission: Impossible 3) and is directed by Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Mark Bomback. Check out the trailer here on MADE, then go and see it on the big screen this weekend!