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Matt Damon News Column
Currently filming:
Stillwater in Marseille, France

15 November 2019 - 'Ford v Ferrari' (also known as 'Le Mans 66') to be released
6 November 2020 - 'Untitled Tom McCarthy Project' to open in limited release

Matt and Christian Bale are on the cover of the November edition of British GQ. Photos are at British GQ's Instagram, including the following text. Photos are by Sam Jones. The interview is also online, including an Avatar story that will dominate the press coverage and probably be denied by James Cameron.

"Christian’s approach is the approach that young actors wish they had when they’re talking s***: a monk-like discipline in service of your work. That’s one of the rarest things, because it comes at a price. It is inspiring." The A-listers all other A-listers want to be, and stars of new racing blockbuster Le Mans ’66 , #MattDamon and #ChristianBale are our November cover stars 

💥 LINK IN BIO to download the digital edition now. Photographer @samjonespictures Stylist @jeanneyangstyle / @anniejaggerstylist Grooming @dianaschmidtke1 / Torsten White Writer @stuartmcgurkgq #FordvFerrari #SubcribersEdition // #GQ Editor @dylanjonesgq3h

The reason we’re here is that after years of bumping into each other and trading tales at various events (“We’d always chit-chat a little,” says Damon. “I actually met Christian’s wife before I met him, 20 years ago”) they’re finally in a film together.

If Damon is exactly the guy you’d expect – the everyman’s everyman, funny, chummy, an anecdote tombola and absolutely the guy you’d love to have a beer or ten with – Bale is not at all what you’d imagine from his brooding roles, legendary dedication and propensity to gorge or starve until the character’s waistline fits.

What did you learn about each other during filming?

CB: That he needs to direct. I definitely learnt that. I would hear Matt and Jim [Mangold, the director] having conversations that went right over my head.

MD: See, I read that as you saying, “He definitely shouldn’t act.”

CB: [Laughs.] No, I came to you really early on and said, “You’ve got to direct, man.” And he’s got much better perception than I do.

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Matt is at the Toronto Film Festival to promote Ford v Ferrari. The premiere is on Monday night and the press conference will be at 10.45am Tuesday and will be available to livestream from the TIFF.net website. An interview with Matt and Christian Bale about the film is at EW.

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Ford v Ferrari has held its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival to strong reviews and potential award acclaim. Comments from Pete Hammond at Deadline:

The 46th annual Telluride Film Festival got underway Friday afternoon in roaring fashion with the world premiere of director James Mangold’s supercharged, terrifically entertaining Ford v Ferrari. It’s the tale of two combative, distinctly different but eccentric car artists and car makers, played by Matt Damon and Christian Bale, who take on the task of bringing supremacy to Ford Motor Co. with the fastest car on the tracks at the biggest race of the year, the 24 hours of Le Mans.

If ever there was one this is a true movie movie — a muscular, fast-paced (even if it runs 152 minutes, it seems like 20), character-driven, bigger-than-life true story that has all the stuff I love about the craft of moviemaking. It is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on the race track.

Like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it pits two big male movie stars against each other and delivers on every cylinder (OK, enough with the car cliches), an old fashioned example of a pure crowd-pleaser that in my opinion should appeal just as much to moviegoers as it will to Academy members who  appreciate the craft of movies on a large scale, those that only belong on the biggest screen possible. That’s Ford v Ferrari.  

I predict not only will this become a huge word-of-mouth box office hit for Fox and Disney (which now owns the studio and will be distributing in November in time for the holdiay season), it should also handily figure in numerous categories at the Oscars including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (for Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller), Film Editing, Cinematography, both Sound categories, and a few acting nods.

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Stillwater is expected to commence filming shortly. Matt was recently sighted in France, presumably for pre-production.

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* Matt will be the lead in a new film for Tom McCarthy titled Stillwater. Details are at Variety. The film will start production in August.

"Stillwater” follows an American oil-rig rough neck from Oklahoma, played by Damon, who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter who is in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter. In the process, he develops a friendship with a local woman and her young daughter and embarks on a personal journey of discovery and a larger sense of belonging in the world.

Damon came close to starring in “Spotlight” when the project was coming together but couldn’t make his dates and had to pass on the project. Damon and McCarthy were still very interested in working together and when McCarthy presented him with the script, Damon jumped at the chance to star.

* Matt will also have a cameo in Kevin Smith's latest Jay and Silent Bob film.

* Matt received an Emmy nomination for hosting Saturday Night Live.

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Matt and Ben seem to be working on a new project and are regularly photographed visiting each other's homes in LA. The latest photos are at the Daily Mail.

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The Ford v Ferrari trailer has been released:

The poster is also available.

Photos of Matt and director Tom McCarthy in Oklahoma while researching a film project are available here and here.</font>

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A preview of Ford v Ferrari is at Entertainment Weekly, including a few photos:

In the age of the superhero blockbuster, Ford v Ferrari is “an endangered species,” according to director James Mangold (Logan, Walk the Line). Recalls Damon: “As we were making it, we joked that it was the last movie ever. Luckily, we had this great character drama that was inside this other story.” But the old-school approach was crucial in preserving the heart of the film. “These are real people with love and loss and fears that aren’t handled in three mini-moments between the next 100-decibel, 12-minute action sequence,” says Mangold. “And it’s an acting tour de force — Matt and Christian have never been better.”

It certainly made a difference to Jason Bourne veteran Damon, no stranger to filming high-speed car scenes. “To feel those cars come roaring by is why people love racing. It was really exciting to shoot because it didn’t require you to use your imagination, it was all happening around you.”

Director Jams Mangold has advised there will be two different versions of the title — via his Twitter account:

It’s Le Mans 66 in UK and France and some other territories and Ford v Ferrari in the USA and rest of the world.

A different image from the film is at Empire Magazine.

An interview with one of the film's screenwriters is at WISHTV.com

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Matt and Lucy attended the premiere of Catch-22, George Clooney's new series, on Tuesday. Photos are at the Daily Mail

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