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Over the next few months you can expect to hear a lot about about director Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon (and I don't just mean because of the latter's role in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel). The duo's most recent film, Take Shelter, was one of the best to come out of this year's Sundance Film Festival and with the movie being released this Friday it's already gaining plenty of Oscar buzz. But Nichols isn't waiting around for his next project. The filmmaker has been working on a project called Mud for months now and has already attracted a stellar cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Now that cast has gotten a bit bigger and Nichols has added a familiar face.

According to Deadline, Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks have all signed on for parts in Mud. While the project will be the first time most of the cast has worked with Nichols, this will be the third collaboration between Shannon and the director, having starred in both Take Shelter and the 2007 thriller Shotgun Stories. The story is about a pair of 14-year-old boys who meet a fugitive named Mud (McConaughey). Agreeing to help keep Mud safe from the police, the duo also helps the man "reconnect with the love of his life." The project is described as a coming-of-age tale and began production today in Arkansas.

Nichols is quickly establishing himself as a gifted young talent and his partnership with Michael Shannon has already produced ripe fruit. Given the actor's commitment to the DC superhero film, he probably won't have too big a role in the new movie, but really any Michael Shannon is good Michael Shannon.