1st look at Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's 'Joe'

After venturing into the world of lowbrow sex comedies, David Gordon Green is most certainly veering back into old habits. That's definitely a good thing, as it's been far too long since the auteur took to making smaller, character pieces like All the Real Girls and George Washington. Last month he was in Park City debuting Prince Avalanche, a quirky dramatic effort starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. And after that, Green brings us the gritty Southern drama, Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life).

The first image from the film has been released, showing a more grizzled and woodsy Cage than I can ever remember seeing. Cage plays Joe Ransom, an ex-con in a small Texas town who attempts to atone for his sins by becoming the father figure to a 15-year old boy trying to support his family. According to comments Greene has made in the past, it goes down some pretty dark avenues, and certainly this image hints at that being the case.

Could this be the film that sets Cage on a similar redemptive path as Matthew McConaughey? Let's hope so.