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Matt Damon News Column
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Calendar:
3 June 2016 - Matt to deliver the commencement address at MIT
29 July 2016 - Jason Bourne to be released
October 2016 - Suburbicon to start filming in Los Angeles
17 February 2017 - The Great Wall to be released

Currently filming:
Downsizing in Toronto
  • Matt talked about the pressure of making a new Bourne movie to AP here and here.

    For Matt Damon, the "Bourne" films have been like a lifeblood.

    "I was kind of inoculated for that five or six year period when I made the first three. I could make decisions with absolutely no thought to what the potential box office was," says Damon. "It was liberating in that sense. I knew that if I had another Jason Bourne off in the middle distance, it would kind of rescue me and keep my career afloat for a few more years."

    In "Jason Bourne" (out July 29), Damon returns to the spy franchise that made him a full-blown movie star with all the freedom such status affords. Given how much 45-year-old actor credits the series with, it's a welcome homecoming.

    "It's obviously the most significant thing that's happened in my career," Damon said in a recent interview from the set of Alexander Payne's "Downsizing." "I definitely knew I wanted to do it again but I was always kind of tethered to Paul (Greengrass). I knew I didn't want to do it without him."

    Damon says the delay was partially caused by a struggle to find a worthy next chapter for the character. The time helped: "Jason Bourne" was inspired by Edward Snowden and more recent debate over civil liberties.

    "All those people who have come up to me over the years, hopefully they're representative of a whole group of people who will go buy tickets," says Damon. "We're counting on it. You never know. It's the movie business, so it could be a total disaster."

    "It's a different landscape than 2002 when the first 'Bourne' movie came out," says Matt Damon, who returns to the franchise in Paul Greengrass' "Jason Bourne" (July 29). "It's like a high-stakes poker game that I don't want to be in. The swings are just so brutal. Ben (Affleck) just opened 'Batman v Superman' a few weeks ago. Everyone around him and in his life was nervous about it. You feel less a sense of exultation when they do well and more a sense of relief because the bets are so big now."

  • The extended cut of The Martian will be released on 7 June.

    The extended edition includes an extended cut featuring 10 minutes of brand new footage not shown in theaters as well as more than two hours of behind-the-scenes content. Included in the new material is audio commentary by renowned director Ridley Scott, writer/executive producer Drew Goddard and author of the novel Andy Weir. There is also a documentary of the science behind recreating Mars for the film; interviews with NASA specialists and engineers; and a Q&A panel discussion about the planned journey to mars featuring commentary from NASA experts.

    NEW Special Features Content Includes:

    Audio Commentary by Ridley Scott (Director), Drew Goddard (Writer, Exec Producer) and Andy Weir (Author of The Martian)
    Deleted Scenes
    The Long Way Home: Making the Martian
    Dare Mighty Things: NASA’s Journey to Mars
    Journey to Mars 101 Q&A
  • 21 comments or Leave a comment
  • Photos from the Downsizing set in Toronto on Thursday are at Just Jared.

  • Details of Swedish actor Ross Lassgard casting news as a Downsizing scientist, and filming dates in Norway, are at Arbetarbladet.se:

    Shooting began in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Right now filming is in Toronto and Lassgård os traveling there in a few weeks to join the team which includes Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz.

    "We shoot in northern Norway at the beginning of August" he says, and tells a little about his role:

    - I'm the scientist who come to this and right now I'm trying to get my science English. There are many words. It's a terrific script, it is very entertaining while it also is an important story.

  • Matt was in London over the weekend, possibly for additional Bourne filming - a report is here and at the Daily Mail.
  • 26 comments or Leave a comment
  • The full trailer for Jason Bourne has been released - links at twitter and YouTube:

  • 41 comments or Leave a comment
  • After four days of filming in Omaha Downsizing now moves to Toronto. Photos from the Omaha shoot are here and here, with more links and videos in the previous comments section.

  • A new photo from Jason Bourne and more comments by Matt and Paul Greengrass about the plot are at EW, including:

    The world has changed significantly since the superspy last appeared on the big screen, by way of new leaders and looming threats. “Different concerns, different issues, different themes,” notes Greengrass. “For Bourne, that’s a good landscape to emerge in.”

    And he needs a bike that can keep up with the bulk of his biceps — which is why he seizes this custom ride from one of the goons on his tail. Damon pulled off the high-risk caper with the help of stuntman Paul Edmondson.

    “He does all the stuff that is life-threatening that I could never get insured for, and quite frankly, would never do,” Damon says, laughing. “Mostly because I’d just look terrified while doing it.”
  • 32 comments or Leave a comment
  • Matt has arrived in Omaha for a week of filming Downsizing. Photos, sightings and reports are at Omaha.com and KETV.
  • 34 comments or Leave a comment
  • The latest photos from the set of Downsizing in LA with Matt and Kristin Wiig are at the Daily Mail.

  • Director Alexander Payne talked about the casting of Matt at LeoAdamBiga.com:

    Payne once had Paul Giamatti lined up to play Paul, but that was years ago. Matt Damon brings the same kind of ordinariness to bear with the advantage of being a bankable leading man.

    “Among contemporary leading men he is the closest thing we have to an Every Man,” Payne said. “We saw it in The Martian particularly. More and more he is assuming the role that say James Stewart and more recently Tom Hanks used to play. At least you can relate to the guy and you can project some of your own fears, yearnings, aspirations onto his face. You understand him. There are many contemporary American stars with whom I don’t have that relationship. I can’t project any of my vulnerabilities or fears or aspirations onto their faces. But on Matt Damon’s, I can, and he’s kind of the only one we have at that upper level. We don’t have Dustin Hoffman as a young man any more, or Al Pacino or Jack Lemmon or James Stewart. Other people can disagree with me and say what about this one or what about that one but really among the upper echelon of contemporary American movie stars Matt Damon comes the closest to being our Everyman.”
  • 12 comments or Leave a comment
  • Matt started filming Downsizing in Los Angeles on 1 April. After a week in LA filming will move briefly to Omaha. Reese Witherspoon recently dropped out of the film due to scheduling issues and has been replaced with Kristin Wiig. Set photos are at the Daily Mail.

  • A new photo from Jason Bourne has been released.

  • An extended cut of The Martian may be released later this year.
  • 25 comments or Leave a comment
  • Matt provided a description of Great Wall to Total Film:

    "It's basically a historical fantasy monster movie but with Zhang Yimou directing. It's next-level insane. The shot making is so exciting. Having done this for 25 years, to watch his work is just amazing. He directed the Beijing Olympics [opening ceremony in 2008]. It's like the film version of the Beijing Olympics but with monsters."

    Matt - who stars alongside Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau and Willem Defoe in the film - plays a mercenary who gets captured and wants to help defend China against the rise of mythical monsters.

    He explained to Total Film magazine: "It takes place around 15AD and I play a mercenary who has gone to northern China to steal gunpowder. The movie starts with him being pursued by these nomad tribesman who are going to kill him. They are a group of Chinese soldiers whose job it is to defend the wall because every 60 years these monsters out of Chinese mythology rise up and assault the wall, and try to break through to take over and kill everyone. Some of these soldiers living and die without ever seeing these beasts. They live to defend China. Pedro and I get captured by the army on the eve of an attack and prove ourselves worthy of helping in the defence of the wall."

  • Ben talked about the new Runner project and the Kimmel skit at the Inquirer.
  • 33 comments or Leave a comment
  • Matt won Best Actor at the Empire Awards, which was presented to him by Paul Greengrass. A report is at the Daily Mail, a live blog at Empire, with photos at Zimbio and the collage by Republic of Photography. A post-award interview is at YouTube.

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    To present Best Actor, sponsored by Jameson, it's the director of what Walliams calls "the good Bourne films", Paul Greengrass. In fairness to Doug Liman, The Bourne Identity isn't half bad.

    Michael B. Jordan may have been overlooked by the Oscars but Empire readers are a canny lot and spotted something highly nominatable in his portrayal of Adonis Johnson in Creed. Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Macbeth) and Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) are the other nominees.

    And the winner, says Greengrass, is... "Someone who literally shovelled shit for this part, the wonderful Matt Damon."

    "We literally just worked a seven-day week on the new Jason Bourne movie," says Damon. "Hopefully we didn't fuck it up." Damon laughs about The Martian's win in the Musical or Comedy category at the Golden Globes. "Maybe they didn't see it and just liked me and felt bad," he says. "Keep supporting movies! We all have jobs because of you guys." We bloody love Matt Damon.
  • 26 comments or Leave a comment