'Free State of Jones' movie premiere creates buzz in Jones County

'Free State of Jones' movie premiere creates buzz in Jones County

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The highly anticipated "Free State of Jones" movie is causing lots of excitement within the Jones County community.

It tells the story of Newt Knight, a Confederate deserter, who led a rebellion against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The show will premiere at the Laurel Mall on Thursday, and one will see a few familiar faces on the big screen.

"There's a lot of local actors in it," Jones County native Lynn Byrd said. "I think it's great because Matthew McConaughey is in it, and I'm super excited and can't wait to see it."

One familiar face one may see on the big screen is Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge's son, Brayden.

"One scene I was just with two or three people, I don't wanna give away any spoilers," Brayden Hodge said.

But one might not even recognize him because in the movie, he played the part of a Union and Confederate soldier.

Hodge said his favorite part of the experience was seeing Mathew McConaughey in action.

"He wanted to be called Newt, he didn't want to be called Matthew and he would take this very seriously," Brayden Hodge said. "He didn't even break character."

The Jones County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority hopes the hype surrounding the movie will increase tourism rates.

"We want to have guests in, we've already seen some," Jones County Economic Development Authority Vice President Larkin Simpson.  "I've had a lot of the family members who are out of state contact me and ask me about having family reunions."

The County EDA and Chamber of Commerce have also started putting out signs reading "The New State of Jones," which was inspired by the movie.

However, whether one decides to see the movie or not, the movie will highlight the history of Jones County during the Civil War.

On Saturday, the Slow Boat Brewery will host a "Downtown Jamboree" to celebrate Jones County's history.

The event will last from 3-9 p.m., local cast members will be there as well as live music.