First Picture of Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Free State of Jones’, Set for 2016 Release

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Picture of Matthew McConaughey in The Free State of Jones
Matthew McConaughey in The Free State of Jones
Photo: STX Entertainment

STX Entertainment has released the above first picture of Matthew McConaughey in The Free State of Jones, an upcoming Civil War drama directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) now set for a March 11, 2016 release date.

Ross also wrote the screenplay, which finds McConaughey playing the defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight, centering on the story of he 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 (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), 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. Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali co-star.

If you happened to see snaps of McConaughey looking like a transient in the checkout line tabloids recently, well, now you know why.

If you’re not familiar with STX Entertainment, that’s because they’re a new outfit, but they have a slate of four upcoming features on the way including an untitled psychological thriller directed by Joel Edgerton in which he stars alongside Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall on July 31; the remake of the foreign language Oscar winner The Secret in Their Eyes directed by Billy Ray and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts on October 23; as well as The Boy, a horror film from director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) and starring Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”) on January 22, 2016.