DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE: Matt Damon is negotiating to join The Monuments Men, the period drama that George Clooney will direct in January in Europe as a co-production between Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Damon joins what continues to be shaping up as an amazing cast. Besides Damon and Clooney, the film will star Skyfall‘s Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, Argo‘s John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. Clooney and Damon did the Ocean’s Eleven movies together and Syriana.
The drama, which was scripted by Clooney and partner Grant Heslov, confronts the final chapter of Germany’s rule, which came down to the absolute destruction of everything that makes a culture keep its standing, including the lives that are lost and the sacrifices that are made. All of this is in danger of being lost forever as Hitler and the Nazis try to cover the tracks of a murderous regime. A crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art that were stolen by Nazis before they are destroyed.
Heslov is producing through their Smokehouse banner. Alexandre Desplat is doing the score, and the crew is the same as from the Ben Affleck-directed Argo, which Clooney and Heslov produced and Desplat scored. Damon will next be seen in the Oscar-bait Gus Van Sant-directed Promised Land, which Damon and co-star John Krasinski wrote together and which Focus Features releases wide January 4 after an Oscar-qualifying run later this year. Damon is repped by WME.
Matt’s new movie project is “Promised Land” could be hitting theaters this year! Here’s the article from IndieWire:
Could Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon be headed back to the Oscars? That could be the case if word on their latest collaboration, “Promised Land,” bears out.
The folks over at The Film Stage picked up on a recent feature article on the film in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that dropped a handful of interesting nuggets about the upcoming movie, which was co-written by and co-stars John Krasinksi alongside a cast that includes Frances McDormand, Hal Hobrook, Rosemarie Dewitt, Scoot McNairy and Titus Welliver. Perhaps the biggest bit of info is that Krasinski reveals the movie could be in “a small number of theaters” by the end of the year. Van Sant had already put together an assembly cut during filming, and “is editing the movie and will huddle with his fellow producers and others at summer’s end and tweak the movie through the fall.” Putting those small clues together, our guess is that “Promised Land” will have some kind of awards consideration run, before a wider release in 2013. As for a festival appearance in the fall? We reckon it’s a possibility.
As for the film itself, it will find Damon playing Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by economic decline in recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally. As you might guess from that logline, there is an environmental angle at play, and early on, there was one word around the interwebs that the movie was an “anti-fracking” screed (fracking is essentially the process by which water and chemicals are blasted to separate rock layers to extract gas and oil). But not so, says Krasinski.
“Fracking for us became a backdrop. The original script was about wind power,” he explains adding about the rumors, “The idea of fracking or natural gas was just a very apropos news story that was beginning to grow a year and a half ago. I just chose that as the background and, of course, that has grown into something quite wild in and of itself.”
So what will the film address thematically? “I don’t want to give too much away, but the situation people are in financially is very, very real. And what they’re protecting is a community and a lifestyle that they believe very, very strongly in,” he explains. “So, for some of the characters in the movie, it’s a choice to give up everything that they are and everything that they have come from, in order for a quick paycheck, which I think is in keeping with a lot of the different opportunities that are going on in the country today, whether it’s the derivative market or anything else.”
In short, the film is more about the values of America today and how they’ve shifted from our parents’ generation, something that Krasinski remembers his father recollecting. The “way he described his upbringing and the country and the community that he grew up in, and how everything was incredibly honorable and loyal and incredibly rather simple in the best way — going to work, having family, having friends, and taking care of what you needed to take care of, and there wasn’t really much else. And someone’s word was as valuable as anything else,” he shares.
Sounds like the kind of big, broad ideas that Oscar loves and with Van Sant at the helm, a script from Damon and Kraskinski and a pretty compelling cast, this one is inching up our list of anticipated movies for 2012. Hopefully we’ll know more soon, but this could be a dark horse for the end of the year.
The Candelabra was formely known as just “Liberace”, now has a new title and more actors:
Dan Aykroyd’s acting appearances have been pretty randomly spaced out lately, with his recent appearances on-camera including a couple of episodes of The Defenders, which put him opposite fellow former SNL star Jim Belushi. This latest bit of TV casting involving Aykroyd sounds like it might be a more serious role for the actor.
Variety is reporting that Aykroyd is set to join the upcoming HBO TV movie centered on musician Liberace, titled Behind the Candelabra. He joins previously cast Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Douglas is set to play Liberace, while Damon is set to play his domestic partner, Scott Thorson. And now Aykroyd has been brought on board to play the role of Seymour Heller, “Liberace’s long-time manager who disapproved of his relationship with Thorson.”
I haven’t read Thorson’s memoir, My Life with Liberace, which is the basis for this film, but it sounds like Heller might not be the most likable character. Aykroyd is great at roles that portray him as the friendly guy (see Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters or Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers), but he’s just as good, if not better, at characters that are meant to intentionally rub you the wrong way (see Roman Craig in The Great Outdoors, Zalinski in Tommy Boy and/or the governor in Evolution). But that’s all based on his comedic work. He’s done drama before (Pearl Harbor, Chaplin), but this sounds like it could be a heavier role. So it should be interesting to see what he does with the part. He’s certainly in good company, and another reason to anticipate this project.
Production is set to begin on Behind the Candelabra this summer.
Looks like the Matt Damon & John Krasinki film now has a title: Promised Land. Matt was initially set to direct it, but due to schedule conflicts, he’ll just star on it. Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) is set to direct it. Here is the article from Deadline:
I’m told that Focus Features and Participant Media won a bidding battle for the untitled film that Gus Van Sant will direct with Matt Damon and John Krasinski starring, from the script those actors co-wrote. Focus and Participant are tying down the details. You’ll recall that Damon planned to make his directing debut on the film, but when his schedule made that impossible, he and producer Chris Moore brought it to their Good Will Hunting director Van Sant, who signed on. The film, which got a first draft from Dave Eggers when its title was Gold Mist, is a Capraesque tale in which Damon and Krasinski play rival corporate executives. Damon plays a sales executive who arrives in a small town only to have his whole life called into question. Moore, Damon and Krasinski will produce and production begins in April.
When Damon was directing, the film had been set up at Warner Bros through the production shingle that Damon has there with Ben Affleck. It’s a $15 million budget, and it seems better placed at Focus and Participant, which are teaming up for the first time.
Krasinski had the idea for a film that had resonance in the current climate of economic hardship caused by corporate greed. Krasinski paid Eggers out of his own pocket to write the first draft, then showed it to Damon and Moore while the latter were making The Adjustment Bureau, which starred Damon and Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt. Eggers was unavailable to do more work on the script, so Damon and Kraskinski rewrote it together.
After the actor pulled out of directing the untitled film due to “scheduling conflicts,” Van Sant will now take his chair.
Matt Damon might not be directing his untitled drama he co-wrote with John Krasinski and Dave Eggers, but the project is far from dead.
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Gus Van Sant will sit in the director’s chair after Damon fell out due to “scheduling issues.” (The actor said yes to several movies this year, and the time required to prep what would have been his directorial debut would have impacted his other commitments.)
Damon came to the realization he would be unable to direct during the holidays and called Van Sant, who helmed him in his 1997 breakthrough Good Will Hunting, to step in.
Damon will still star in the movie, along with which centers on a salesman (Damon) who arrives in a small town only to have his life changed. Krasinski was also due to star. The two are producing as is Chris Moore.
The next step for the project, which hopes to shoot in the spring, is financing. The project was initially set up at Warner Bros. in October but is no longer there. Discussions are underway with financiers to take it over.
Van Sant, repped by WME, last directed Restless, which starred Mia Wasikowska.
Damon will make his feature directorial debut in the untitled pic
Matt Damon plans to make his feature directorial debut in an untitled, mid-budget drama that he and John Krasinski co-wrote and will star in together for Warner Bros.
Project will be set up at Krasinski’s Sunday Night Productions banner. Chris Moore will produce.
Pic is not the long-rumored “Father Daughter Time,” which many speculated in June, when Damon said he was considering a directing project with Krasinski in the cast.
Instead, project is something Krasinski came up with and developed with author Dave Eggers (who co-wrote Krasinski-starrer “Away We Go”). Damon would play a salesman who arrives in a small town only to have his whole life called into question. Krasinski’s role was not revealed.
Warner Bros. is yet to greenlight the project, and no individual deals are yet in place, though preliminary plans are to shoot the project on the East Coast in the near future.
Jesse Ehrman is overseeing for Warner Bros.
Sources tell Variety that the budget would be around $12 million and that the two would try to get a script finished within the next month.
While both Damon and Krasinski are known for acting, both have dabbled with off-screen work: Damon’s career skyrocketed after penning and starring in the Miramax pic “Good Will Hunting,” which won him an Academy for original screenplay.
Krasinski only recently started his writing career, having penned and directed the IFC pic “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.”
Damon is currently filming the Sony/MRC co-production “Elysium.” Krasinski can still be seen on the NBC skein “The Office.”
Both thesps are repped by WME.
Looks like Liberace production will start next year! Sure seems like an awesome story! From Hollywood Reporter:
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon have been tapped to star in HBO Films’ Liberace biopic.
Behind the Candelabrawill star Douglas as Liberace in the project that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the relationship between the legendary entertainer and Scott Thorson, his younger, live-in lover (Damon).
The project will be executive produced by Jerry Weintraub (Ocean’s Eleven) and produced by Gregory Jacobs (The Informant!) and Susan Ekins (The Karate Kid series), with Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) directing the script by Richard LaGravenese (Water for Elephants).
“This is a story that’s going to surprise a lot of people,” HBO Films president Len Amato said Tuesday in announcing the casting. “It’s funny, heartbreaking and always fascinating, and we are delighted that Jerry and Steven brought the film to HBO. With Steven at the helm, directing such accomplished actors as Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, this is a dream project for us.”
Production will begin next summer in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Palm Springs.
For Weintraub, the project marks a reunion with the premium cable network that aired his biopic, His Way this year.
“I’ve wanted to make a film about Liberace for a very long time, and after the amazing experience I had with HBO on His Way, I knew that they were absolutely the right place for this movie,” he said. “I am thrilled that we have the incomparable Michael Douglas to inhabit the role of Liberace, as well as the exceptional Matt Damon to play the pivotal part of Scott Thorson. Putting these two fine actors in the creative hands of Steven Soderberg — it doesn’t get better than that.”
Soderbergh, meanwhile, noted HBO’s “fearless approach” to original programming in bringing the project to the pay cabler.
“From the inception of this project, we’ve had two priorities: getting it right creatively, and getting as many people as possible to see it,” he said.
For Weintraub, the project marks the latest in a string of small-screen work. CBS earlier this month picked up The Producer, a period drama project. set in the world of the evening news.
The keen card player was spotted meeting Harvey Weinstein and Ocean’s 13 screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien at New York restaurant Cipriani Downtown to begin work on the script to Rounders 2, the New York Post reports.
Edward Norton, who appeared in the first movie, will reportedly reprise his role in the sequel.
In Rounders Matt played a law student who was lured back into gambling by his old friend, an ex-convict, played by Ed.
The 1998 film flopped at the box office but became a cult hit on DVD
Damon to start work on what is believed to be Father Daughter Time early next year.
Matt Damon is moving ahead with his directorial debut, and has offered the name of one of his stars.
Speaking to Vulture, he said: “I’ve got a few things that I really want to direct, and one I’m actually going to start at the first quarter of next year.”
It’s thought to be Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses, a script from Matthew Aldrich picked up by Warner Bros. as a starring vehicle for Damon. The plotline has a “man who goes on the lam with his daughter, his accomplice on a three-state crime spree.” Aldrich described it as “a smallish, very personal, dark but playful road movie about a father and daughter.”
It’s been rumoured that Damon will direct, as he had been planning to get behind the camera for The Trade, a true wife-swapping baseball movie that was set to star him and best mate Ben Affleck. That project is now on hold my legal reasons.
Damon wouldn’t confirm if Father Daughter Time is in fact the film he will direct, but did mention that John Krasinski would be in it.
The star of the US version of The Office is married to Damon’s Adjustment Bureau co-star Emily Blunt, and has popped up on the big screen in Something Borrowed, It’s Complicated, License To Wed and Away We Go. He’ll next be seen in The Muppets and Everybody Loves Whales. Krasinski himself made his directorial debut in 2009 with Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
Meanwhile, Damon is having a busy 2011 in his day job as actor, starring in Neill Blompkamp’s Elysium, Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace and Contagion, and Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo.
MALONE — Academy Award-winning screenwriter and actor Matt Damon was in Malone Wednesday, apparently learning more about wind farms.
The star of “Good Will Hunting” and “The Bourne Identity” franchise could also be gathering information for a film he is rumored to be making for his directorial debut.
The lunch crowd at Jon’s Family Restaurant on Finney Boulevard was abuzz with people getting their picture taken with Damon and actor John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom “The Office.”
One of the fans who got close Wednesday was Katie Nason, who works at Giggles and Wiggles child-care center in Malone.
“It was pretty exciting. I was there with my husband, and my in-laws were arriving,” she said.
There was a lot of commotion at a table behind them, with the waitresses and restaurant staff crowding around and taking pictures with a man in a hat and glasses.
“My husband said, ‘It must be somebody famous,’” Nason said.
She said she got a look at who it was causing the excitement, “and I lost my breath. It took me 10 minutes to go over there and talk to him.
“I was like, ‘I can’t not get this.’ My mother-in-law took the picture on her iPod.
“He was very polite and just as cute in person,” Nason said. “You could tell he was used to it.”
The actors were apparently in the area to learn more about wind farms for a future movie and were accompanied by Town Council member Jack Sullivan, a vocal wind-farm opponent.
Sullivan could not be immediately reached for comment.
Damon is the co-founder of H2O Africa and Water.org, which work to improve living conditions in developing countries through clean water.
The film Damon might direct and star in is tentatively called “Father and Daughter,” according to a website entry for New York Magazine.
“I’ve got a few things that I really want to direct, and one I’m actually going to start at the first quarter of next year,” he said in the article.
He would play a criminal on the run with his daughter.
Damon would not say much about the film but did tell the magazine, “John Krasinski is in it.”