Matthew McConaughey will lead a rebellion against the Confederacy in his upcoming film Free State of Jones. In what appears to be a passionate and captivating role, McConaughey is merely adding to a series of films about America’s journey to liberty and justice for all, and as always, he’s on the side of justice. Recently, the official trailer for Free State of Jones was released and included inspiring dialogue from Matthew McConaughey’s character, Newt Knight.
“I’m tired of it. You, me, all of us — we’re all out there dying so they can stay rich. This fight’s for our children, and our children’s children.”
Unlike many other films which attempted to tell a story of Mississippi and other southern territories, Free State of Jones, tells the same story from the eyes of a Confederate solider who recognizes the unfairness of his actions. What can a poor Southern farmer do to make a difference in the sway of the Civil War? If Matthew McConaughey has anything to do with, an inspiring tale will lead the audience swiftly through the film Free State of Jones.
Similar to the passion McConaughey performed in the 1997 film Amistad and the conviction he showed in 1996’s A Time To Kill, Matthew’s character in Free State of Jones represents leadership during a time when people like him were expected to be quiet, take orders, and pay taxes. The one difference is that this time around, McConaughey’s not playing a lawyer, which may result in Free State of Jones being one of his most powerful Antebellum role thus far. Still, the question stands, is McConaughey’s talent alone good enough to bring such a story to life?
Though fans of Matthew’s may say yes, the truth is that McConaughey alone can’t make Free State of Jones a masterpiece. To assist him, Director Gary Ross (Hunger Games) brought in Gugu Mbatha-Raw to play a former slave who later marries Matthew McConaughey after the war, according to Entertainment Weekly. Given Mbatha-Raw’s dramatic performance in racially driven films like Belle and Beyond the Lights, she may be just what the doctor ordered. However, Matthew McConaughey is getting help from more than just his co-stars for this upcoming film.
Based on a recent profile in the New Yorker, STX Entertainment spent over $500 million to be able to place more extras in the opening battle scene. With Free State of Jones being more of an action film than a drama, this shows that the film’s creators are going well beyond hiring Matthew McConaughey and other seat-fillers to make this movie the talk of the town.
The plot is full of twists, turns, and oddities, including Matthew McConaughey’s character Newt Knight showing loyalty both to the oppressed Southern farmers and negro runaways. The trailer foreshadows scenes of high action, secret hideaways, and a “trojan horse,” to help the rebels end the war. In this case, the secret weapon is a mass funeral during which negro rebels emerge from the coffins with firearms to fight the Confederacy. It’s a complete 360 from McConaughey’s last role in The Sea of Trees, but based on a interview from 2012, Matthew has always liked variety and feels free to act in any role he desires.
“There are zero shackles.”
Leading a team of rebels to fight the Confederacy and falling in love with a recently freed woman of color appears to be just a small part of Free State of Jones. The trailer hints, but doesn’t fully reveal, if Matthew McConaughey’s strapping characters is victorious in his efforts or if he dies in the process.
The film Free State of Jones, featuring Matthew McConaughey, will open in theaters this May.
See Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones trailer:
[Feature image via Jason LaVeris/Getty Images]