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Fresh off a successful Sundance debut for his made-on-the-sly Prince Avalanche, David Gordon Green is once again stepping up to a festival with a film we'd barely heard about-- and this time, Nicolas Cage is involved. News broke last fall that Cage, along with The Tree of Life and Mud star Tye Sheridan, would be working with Green on the Texas-set drama, but now all of a sudden the movie is finished and ready to be sold, giving us our first look at Cage looking very, well, Texas-y. Take a look below.
The film's plot is actually fairly similar to Mud, which stars Matthew McConaughey along with Sheridan and was directed by Jeff Nichols, a friend of Green's (it's coming to theaters in April). Like McConaughey in Mud, Cage plays an ex-convict trying to put the past behind him and lead a good life ,though Cage seems to have gotten out of jail honestly, while McConaughey's Mud character broke out. Here's the rest of the official Joe synopsis below:
In the dirty unruly world of small-town Texas, ex-convict Joe Ransom (Cage) has tried to put his dark past behind him and to live a simple life. He works for a lumber company by day, drinks by night. But when 15-year-old Gary (Sheridan) - a kid trying to support his family - comes to town, desperate for work, Joe has found a way to atone for his sins - to finally be someone’s hero. As Joe tries to protect Gary, the pair will take the twisting road to redemption in the hope for a better life in this tough, hard-hitting but incredibly moving story.
Given the unexpected lyrical beauty and gentle humor of Prince Avalanche, I'm very ready to let Green forget the disaster of The Sitter and move back into the Southern-tinged, earnest but occasionally goofy stories that made him so beloved to begin with. And if he's bringing Nicolas Cage along with him-- another guy in need of moving on from the past, though much more drastically so-- then all the better. Joe is being sold at the European Film Market, so let's cross our fingers for a release date soon.