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Matt Damon News Column
Running the Sahara, Fighter
  • More details on Running the Sahara, including information about release plans, is at an interview with runner Charlie Engle at ESPN - excerpts:

    Q: You were able to get Matt Damon's production company on board. How difficult, if at all, was that?
    A: I am a very motivated person, and normally I take an idea and try to push forward very hard. In this case, it was simply me mentioning the idea to a friend of mine. He happened to be a friend of James Moll, a director who won an Academy Award for Best Documentary several years ago. Frankly, James took it from there. I really had very little to do with it. He had previously worked with LivePlanet, which is the company that Matt Damon is associated with. When Matt heard of the idea, he volunteered to come on board and wanted to narrate the movie. He's very passionate about running and Africa, and it was a good fit for him.

    Q: It was actually a situation where Damon had to fly over from the "Bourne" set in London to Washington, D.C., to meet with people. Ultimately, it wasn't him that ended up helping, but rather a gentleman from Los Angeles who was involved in that community.
    A: Right, it was a man named Omar Turbi. I had actually seen him before on "Larry King Live" and some other shows. He's an American, but born in Libya. He's a Libya expert. He was very well-connected with the Libya government.

    Q: What's the plan for the documentary?
    A: People can track this on RunningTheSahara.com. There will always be updates there. It will come out in September at the Toronto Film Festival. Immediately after that, during the second week of September, people should start seeing it at a nearby theater. I should also point out that National Geographic filmed many hours of footage also. At some point in August, they'll be airing a two-hour, behind-the-scenes special. I haven't seen any of it yet! It seems surreal. I'm glad there's proof that I did it because I don't know if I would believe it myself.

  • Matt is supposedly quoted in an EW Deal Report item about The Fighter - it may have been taken from a larger Summer movie preview interview, or it could be sourced from Mark Wahlberg.

    The Departed's Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon can't seem to shake the Irish, Massachusetts, or each other. They're in talks to star as real-life Lowell, Mass., boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his trainer brother (Damon) in The Fighter. Notes Damon: Director Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) "is saying everything I, or any actor, would want to hear. [Now] we're waiting for a script."

  • Clooney Studio is reporting that Ocean's Thirteen will have its US premiere in Los Angeles at Grauman's Chinese Theater on 5 June (two days before the Chicago event).
  • 4 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)


    I don't know why everyone is "So Excited" about the Fighter. Oooo for Damon to have a chance to play a low-life. I think it is horribly insensitive that this film is now being talked about for summer production. Dicky Ecklund was linked (only publicized suspect) to the may 2006 murder of a Lowell resident. The victim was outsied one of Ecklund's haunts smoking a cigarette and in the span of 3 minutes was beaten to death. Eklund's niece was charged with perjury in connection to the grand jury inquiry and he was never officially charged. Now this moie is all over the press, less than a year since Dennis' death. Shame on hollywood for touting this as a story of redemption....for Eklund hasnt changed!
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Fighter

    Well, I really can't say that I'm that excited about it. I can't believe he turned down the film with Kate Winslet for this. What is he thinking??
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 10th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Fighter

    I still hope it won't go ahead - although it's looking likely at this stage.

    I had not heard of the allegations you wrote about, and it makes the movie an even poorer idea.

    I don't know what the Revolutionary Road project conflicted with, but I don't believe it was solely this one.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 21st, 2007 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Fighter

    Unfortunately now this case has been put on the back burner and there is no mention of it when anything in the local papers covers movie possibilities. You can read the related articles on the website for the Lowell Sun (local paper) if you earch for Dicky Eklund in the archives from May of 2006 up to now.
    Hopefully Matt will find a better project to committ himself to than this
    4 comments or Leave a comment