Jeff Nichols Throws Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson & More into MUD September 27, 2011 Nichols rounds out the cast of his coming-of-age drama. Michael Shannon (‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Premium Rush’) is reuniting with his ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Shotgun Stories’ director Jeff Nichols for the coming-of-age drama ‘Mud. Sam Shepard (‘Blackthorn’), Sarah Paulson (‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’), Ray McKinnon (‘The Blind Side’), Joe Don Baker (‘Tomorrow Never Dies’) and Paul Sparks (‘Boardwalk Empire’) will also co-star. They join previously announced Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan (‘The Tree of Life’). ‘Mud’ is centered around two fourteen-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Intrigued by this man, they enter into a pact to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life. Though it is hard for the boys to discern truth from fiction when it comes to Mud, it isn’t long until their small Arkansas town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of hunters in tow. Shepard will play the reclusive character of ‘Tom Blankenship.’ Shannon will play ‘Galen,’ the uncle of one of the boys, and Paulson and McKinnon will play the parents of the other. Baker and Sparks are figures who are out for revenge.