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This has been an interesting year for original science-fiction in Hollywood. In the last eight and a half months we've seen the release of Pacific Rim, Elysium, Oblivion, The Europa Report, Dark Skies and After Earth, and we're still waiting to see Gravity, Her, and Snowpiercer. It's hard to say exactly why the movie world is suddenly so interested in creating some fresh content for the genre, but soon Take Shelter and Mud director will be getting in on the action with his upcoming flick Midnight Special, and today Deadline brings word that the cast has recently grown. Kirsten Dunst has signed a deal to join Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton in the movie and is set to play the female lead.
Based on an original idea concept by Nichols and set to be the filmmaker's fourth feature film, the story has been described as a John Carpenter-inspired chase movie and follows a father and his 8-year-old son living in present day. The two characters are forced to "go on the run when dad realizes the boy has some kind of special powers." Shannon will be playing the father character in the movie, though it hasn't been revealed who will be playing the son. Like Edgerton's part, Dunst's role in the film is being kept a secret for now.
Nichols has partially become known for his partnership with Shannon (as the actor has appeared in all of the writer/director's features) but Nichols also has a habit of working with some of the best actresses out there. In Take Shelter brought Jessica Chastain aboard to play the female lead, while Mud featured both Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Paulson in strong roles. Having Dunst on-board for Midnight Special certainly continues that tradition.
Since her days as Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies Dunst has been spending a lot of time on the indie circuit and has earned a lot of acclaim for her work. The biggest standout among her recent work is Lars Von Trier's Melancholia - for which the actress won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival - but the list of other notable titles includes On The Road, Bachelorette, and Upside Down. While the movie doesn't have an official release date yet, we'll most likely next seen Dunst alongside Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac in Hossein Amini's The Two Faces of January, but if not there have also been rumors that she will be in Adam McKay's Anchorman: The Legend Continues, which will be out on December 20th.
If you aren't yet familiar with Nichol's work, I would highly recommend it. He's easily one of the most exciting filmmakers to come out of the last decade, and we can't wait to see what he does with Midnight Special. To get a taste of what Nichols can do, watch the Take Shelter trailer below.