By Kyle Buchanan
There are all sorts of flashy films coming this winter, but one of the movies we know the least about is blessed with perhaps the season’s most bullish title. Gold, from director Stephen Gaghan, lands in theaters this Christmas boasting Matthew McConaughey as the lead and bearing Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s valuable imprimatur, and Vulture’s got an exclusive look at the film’s first poster. A trailer for Gold should be arriving soon, but in the meantime, we called up Gaghan to get some intel on what could be this winter’s biggest surprise, as well as a potential Oscars dark horse.
“[Gold] sort of defies a clear category — it’s definitely an adventure, definitely a drama, and a third category might even be a morality tale,” said Gaghan, who cast McConaughey as a Nevada underachiever whose life takes a drastic turn once he makes the largest gold find in the history of time in the jungles of Borneo. “Gold mining is a real feast-or-famine industry, which, if you know anything about it, is really filled with crazy characters and all sorts of skullduggery,” said Gaghan. He promised a whole set of reversals and twists back home after McConaughey’s character strikes it rich: “It turns out chasing the gold was sort of the easy part.”
When it came to Gold’s shoot, however, there was no easy part. “It was enormously challenging,” admitted Gaghan, who had not directed a feature film since 2005’s Oscar-winning Syriana. “We shot in the jungles of Thailand during monsoon season, and we had a once-in-a-generation meteorological event that put our main set 15 feet under water. It was like Heart of Darkness, but it was just incredible.”