U.S. Release Date: 3/16/16
Jeff Nichols, the director of Midnight Special has long wanted to make a chase movie about guys speeding through the American south on back roads with their lights off.
This sci-fi adventure has allowed Nichols – born in Little Rock, Arkansas – to realise his dream. The story’s centrepiece is eight-year-old Alton, who is being pursued by government agents because his eyes radiate a special white light capable of causing destruction or sending people into euphoria. To keep himself under control, his eyes are covered by special goggles.
The movie marks a different kind of role for Michael Shannon, who plays Alton’s father, Roy. Shannon gave a truly chilling performance as the true-life killer Richard Kuklinski in 2012’s The Iceman, and played scary real estate broker Richard Carver in last year’s 99 Homes. In this movie, however, it’s all about moving heaven, Earth and everything else to protect his son from certain people. Helping Roy achieve this goal are his longtime buddy, Lucas (Joel Edgarton) and Alton’s mother, Sarah, (Kirsten Dunst).
“I will talk for days about back-story, where a character comes from and where he’s going to end up five years from now,” says Nichols, who cast Shannon in his previous titles – Mud, Take Shelter and Shotgun Stories. “I enjoy that because I’m a writer and these are the relationships I created, so of course I want to sit down and talk about it.”
Nichols says Shannon always commands a quick understanding of his characters.
“Mike usually has one or two questions and that’s about it. He understands the character. So when we show up on set we don’t rehearse, we just start rolling. His style very much suits the way I write.”
As a father, whose young son once experienced a medical emergency, Nichols, in a New York minute, relates to Shannon’s character.
‘I realized that having a child means giving up a part of yourself to the universe,” he says. “It’s like a wound has opened up that will never heal and will always be open to injury. If something happens to that child, you will feel it because you love him so much. It’s a helpless feeling, too, knowing that there is now this person in your life that you would do anything for, but in some ways you really have no control over. That was the basis for ‘Midnight Special.’”
Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher and Oscar nominee Sam Shepard
Screenwriters: J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk
Executive Producers: Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin
Image Info: Copyright: © 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein
Caption: (L-r) Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst as Sarah in Midnight Special – a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Faliro House Productions, released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Midnight Special. © 2016 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved