Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall lead a cast that includes Alison Eastwood, Ethan Suplee, Joe Perry, Stephen Boss, Waylon Payne, Rick Gifford, John-Paul Howard, and Colby Sheppard, in a depression-era racial justice drama titled Cottonwood, from Mark Campbell Productions

From a story penned by Stacy Dean Campbell, and dubbed a mystery/drama, here’s a lengthy synopsis for the upcoming project:

In 1930’s depression era Texas, a massive dust storm descends as Sheriff Rube Whitlock buries his daughter who died from “dust pneumonia,” and his wife falls into a deep depression. He hires a local black woman, Esther, to take care of the house just as a black teenager is almost beaten to death. Racial tensions build as PV, the housekeeper’s husband, buys an extra mule to help with his cotton planting, which is considered a white man’s crop, and Rube stirs the white community further as he investigates the beating of the young black boy. As racist forces, led by local troublemaker Orville “Guppy” Walters, step up their campaign of terror to intimidate the black community, a tragedy strikes, and the kindling is set for Rube’s whole dust dry county to go up in flames. 

No word on what actors will be playing what parts exactly, but Hall is likely playing Sheriff Rube Whitlock, with Gossett playing PV, Esther’s husband. And looking over the cast list, it doesn’t look like Esther has been cast yet.

But I’ve sent an email out to Julie Campbell, the film’s listed producer, for any further info she can share on the project, which I’ll update here once I know more.

In an interview with The Gilmer Mirror, Campbell did have this to say: “Cottonwood is a very special film that I am proud to be a part of. Set in the depression era of West Texas, this poignant, heartfelt story is filled with mystery, intrigue, and tension, with strong characters including Jack the mule. The images will be stark and haunting as the story is dark. Based on relationships, friendships, death and healing with bonds not to be broken in a racially charged town, with a surprise ending that leaves the audience with lingering emotions…” 

Principal photography is set to begin in early 2014, so stay tuned…