Mud (2012) Poster



Writer/director Jeff Nichols was desperate to cast his Shotgun Stories (2007) and Take Shelter (2011) lead Michael Shannon in the film, but Shannon's participation in Man of Steel (2013) almost made it impossible. He was eventually able to clear out a few days to film the role of Galen.
Jeff Nichols wrote the part of Tom Blankenship specifically for Sam Shepard.
Around half the crew were Arkansas residents. In addition, the production hired over 400 locals as extras.
At the time of shooting, this film was the largest production ever to be filmed in Arkansas.
Over 2000 boys auditioned for the role of Neckbone.
Chris Pine was in talks for the title role in May 2011. Despite this, Matthew McConaughey was always writer/director Jeff Nichols's first choice, ever since seeing him in Lone Star (1996).
Prior to shooting, writer/director Jeff Nichols described the film as Sam Peckinpah directing a short story by Mark Twain.
Tom Blankenship's name came from a real person that Mark Twain based his character, Huckleberry Finn, on. Blankenship, in real life, is rumored to later became a judge, but no one knows for sure his fate.
The island in the film is located outside the city of Eudora in Arkansas.
The bruises and cuts of Reese Witherspoon are real, since the actress had an accident shortly before started shooting. Instead of covering it with make-up or wait until she healed more, Jeff Nichols decided to film her like that, because it suited the character.
Writer/director Jeff Nichols came up with the concept for the film in the 1990s.
A major character trait for Mud is his emotional and superstitious attachment to his shirt. Ironically, Matthew McConaughey has been widely mocked in real life for his habit of going shirtless.
At the start of the film where the two boys meet Mud, Neckbone is wearing a shirt with the word 'furgazi' on it. In the Wolf of Wall Street, another film starring Matthew McConaughey, there is a scene where his character tries to explain what a Fugazi is to Leonardo DiCaprio. Quote: Fugayzi, Fugahzi, it's a wahzi, it's a woozie, it's a (whistles) fairy dust.
Filming lasted eight weeks.
Galen, played by Michael Shannon, points out a working ceiling fan he found in the river. In Jeff Nichols previous film Shotgun Stories, Son Hayes, also played by Michael Shannon, is sitting on a dock in front of a ceiling fan presumably found in the river.
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Reese Witherspoon and writer/director Jeff Nichols share the same representation, which allowed Nichols to approach the actress with the role more easily.

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