Gugu Mbatha-Raw Joins Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Free State of Jones’


Belle-9-Gugu-Mbatha-RawGugu Mbatha-Raw had a pretty good 2014, with a pair of critically acclaimed performances that put her in the eyes of a lot of filmgoers. Belle is the one I have seen (the other being Beyond the Lights), and I totally agree with all the raves she has been getting. I do want to see Beyond the Lights as soon as I can, even if I did not hear the best things about it, just to see what she does. With these raves, it was only a matter of time before the Oxford native started getting parts left and right.

Gary Ross (Pleasantville, The Hunger Games) has selected Mbatha-Raw to star opposite Matthew McConaughey in The Free State of Jones. If you want a sense of what the film is about, take a gander at the synopsis:

Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a Confederate Army soldier in the Civil War, flees the battlefields after being disillusioned by the horrors that touched his own family. On the run, he rallies the support of fellow deserters to lead an uprising against their former comrades, in the process creating a free safe haven.

Mbatha-Raw will play a slave named Rachel, who forms a crucial relationship with Knight that impacts his life and rebellion greatly.

It sounds like it could make a compelling film. McConaughey and Mbatha-Raw is an interesting pairing. It could turn into a white savior film based on that synopsis, and I hope Ross and company steer very clear of that. Although, Ross has not been my favorite director up until now, and I do not know if he has the skills to take it away from the easier angle. We probably will not see this film until next year, so I am not going to let it worry me.

Original report from The Wrap.

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Weekend: Jun. 27, 2019, Jun. 30, 2019

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