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'Midnight Special' director Jeff Nichols breaks down his process

The director of ‘Mud’ and ‘Take Shelter’ also talks about how to navigate the studio system

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Ben Rothstein

If you haven’t yet discovered the oeuvre of writer/director Jeff Nichols, this might be the weekend to do so. The Southern born and bred filmmaker has become a force in the landscape thanks to his intimate American storytelling, something on display in full force in this weekend’s Midnight Special, his fourth feature.

Centered on a father’s willingness to risk it all in an effort to save his son, Midnight Special stars, like all Nichols’ films do, Michael Shannon, who plays the father of a boy (Jaden Lieberher) with special powers. Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, and Adam Driver also star.

Nichols’ stopped by EW Radio this week for a chat on Inside Movies. Here, the 37-year old filmmaker breaks down the connective tissue between Midnight Special and his breakout film Take Shelter, and also discusses his long relationship with Shannon. Take a listen:

Another staple of Nichols’ last two movies has been veteran actor and playwright Sam Shepard, who plays a magnetic cult leader in the new film. Take a listen to Nichols breaking down what it’s like to work with the iconic Shepard.

How is Nichols, who has become quite known as a filmmaker with a specific vision, navigating the studio system, as he did here for the first time with Midnight Special, which Warner Bros. is releasing limited this weekend, and will expand in the weeks to come? He also touched on that in the interview as well.

Midnight Special opens today in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.