Mud (2012) Poster



Reese Witherspoon had an accident shortly before filming started; her bruises and cuts are real. Instead of covering them with make-up or waiting until she healed more, Jeff Nichols decided to film her like that because it suited the character.
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).
Over 2000 boys auditioned for the role of Neckbone.
Around half the crew were Arkansas residents. In addition, the production hired over 400 locals as extras.
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.
At the time of shooting, this film was the largest production ever to be filmed in Arkansas.
The island in the film is located outside Eudora, Arkansas.
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.
Writer/director Jeff Nichols came up with the concept for the film in the 1990s.
Jeff Nichols started shooting this movie in his home state of Arkansas on September 26, 2011. Filming took eight weeks and concluded on November 19.
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon (Best Short Subject 2002), Reese Witherspoon; and two Oscar nominees: Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon.
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 'fugazi' 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. The shirt is actually a band tshirt. Fu-gah-zee is Italian for fake.
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.
Jeff Nichols filmed in Southeast Arkansas; locations included Dumas, De Witt, Lake Village, Crocketts Bluff, and Stuttgart. The island in the film was located outside the city of Eudora.
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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.
Feature film debut of Bonnie Sturdivant.
Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon third film together.
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