First Look at Matthew McConaughey in The Free State of Jones

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The action-drama is written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross, and stars Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali.

In making the announcement, Adam Fogelson stated, “I am thrilled to be continuing a relationship with Gary Ross that began with ‘Seabiscuit.’ He’s an incredible filmmaker with a unique visual style, and with ‘The Free State of Jones’ he brings a compelling and impactful untold story that is gritty and thrilling while also being heartfelt and intelligent. We are extremely proud that this is one of the first films STX Entertainment will be bringing to audiences.”

Movie is set during the Civil War, The Free State of Jones tells the story of defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers, and with the assistance of local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones.

His marriage to a former slave, Rachel, and his subsequent establishment of a mixed race community was unique in the post-war South. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, which distinguished him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.

STX Entertainment is producing the film and recently announced plans to release the movie nationwide on March 11, 2016.