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Matt Damon News Column
Green Zone casting, various
  • Variety has confirmed the Jason Isaacs casting story, but reports incorrectly that filming is continuing in Spain (they're in Morocco and have been for weeks). More information about Isaacs' character and future casting from Empire Online (the text below was drafted for a mid-February release).

    Jason Isaacs will play Lt. Briggs, a Special Forces unit commander who butts heads with Matt Damon’s Chief Warrant Officer, Roy Miller, during the search for WMDs in Iraq, following the fall of Saddam Hussein and the start of the American occupation of Baghdad.

    This is good news – Isaacs is a fine actor, and it’ll be fine to see him and Damon spark off each other in a movie that we’re hugely excited about. He also, crucially, has experience of working with Greengrass, having starred in the 1997 TV movie, The Fix, alongside Steve Coogan.

    The thriller, loosely inspired by the book Imperial Life In The Emerald City, has been shooting for just over a month on locations in Spain and Morocco, with London to come in the months to follow. Several major parts have yet to be cast, but are very close – stay tuned to Empire for further announcements.

  • Information about another new Green Zone cast member, Driss Roukhe, is from Telquel-Online.

    And another American production for Driss Roukhe! After his conspicuous and remarkable participation in Babel, by the great Gonzalez Inarritu, the actor is in Rabat alongside Matt Damon currently filming Green Zone, a big Hollywood production directed by Paul Greengrass.

    Driss Roukhe plays the role of Ahmed El Iraqi, the Iraqi officer who fights against the American invasion. A nationalist, he tries to defend Baghdad and organize with other officers a counter-attack. The team remains in Morocco for another two weeks, and will fly to London soon after.

  • Joan Allen discusses how she heard about a possible Bourne sequel here:

    Joan Allen is anxiously awaiting word on whether she'll be involved in the fourth "Bourne Identity" movie. The highly respected, three-time Oscar-nominated actress relates that she was getting her hair and makeup done in preparation for a press day on her "Bonneville" feature this week when "my daughter came running in saying, 'Mom! I just heard on the radio that Matt Damon's agreed to do a fourth Bourne movie.'"

    She couldn't wait to get home from her publicity chores and look it up on the Internet -- since, of course, she was in the last two, and "would really like to do another, actually. I had fun on those."

  • A quote from Jimmy Kimmel at Newsweek on the videos are below with the result of an EW poll.

    Which one's better?
    Kimmel: They're both good. But I think you have to give the edge to hers, because it's the original.


    Odd "couples" aired sex-video spoofs on late-night TV: Which fake-fornication video do you like better?

    54% Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon
    46% Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck

  • Running the Sahara will be released by NEHST this summer - details from Variety.

  • Details about the use of Ovid in The Good Shepherd, and how it was mangled by Hollywood, is at the Harvard Crimson.

  • Updates on Margaret are at CHUD and Hollywood Elsewhere.

  • The Empire Film Awards are on this weekend, and Matt and Paul Greengrass may attend. The show will be broadcast on ITV2 at 9pm on March 10.

  • A comment by actor Milo Ventimiglia, reported at the National Ledger:

    He goes on, "When people take an interest or want to comment on my life, I kind of take it with a grain of salt. I think that's a part of being in the public eye. It's one of those curses and blessings." Milo does have role models to follow, though. He says, "If I can be half as successful as Matt Damon and George Clooney in how they discuss their personal lives -- by being engaging and leaving people smiling, but still feeling like they held onto their personal info -- then I'll be happy. Right now, I'm doing the best I can."
  • 12 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 4th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

    upcoming projects

    Jason Isaacs is always a good villain -- but is it normal for "major parts" to be uncast a month into filming?

    And isn't summer an awfully competitive time to release a documentary?

    Ah, well, what do I know? Personally I'm eagerly anticipating all of it, of course.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 5th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: upcoming projects

    I think they've known the Green Zone cast members for a while, but haven't announced them for whatever reason. Khalid Abdulla hasn't been formally announced in the trades, and he's one of the lead roles and was filming from January.

    Running the Sahara won't get a large release, and maybe not even a press junket. It's gone to a very small distributor, so its prospects for success are pretty small. To be positive, I could suggest counter-programming (as a reason for its summer release). I think they've held it back so Matt can promote it when he's back in the US for Informant filming.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 7th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: upcoming projects

    It's not unprecedented for major roles in a project currently filming to go unannounced for a while. When Ridley began filming BODY OF LIES last August, the only two announced cast members were Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Other names (Carice van Houten for one) were announced as filming went on and some major roles (Mark Strong as Jordan spy chief Hani) were never announced in the trades.

    I guess they like to keep certain projects under wraps until their release dates get closer. That being said, I'm jazzed about both BODY OF LIES and the GREEN ZONE.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 7th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: upcoming projects

    And of course Edgar Ramirez wasn't announced for Ultimatum until filming was well underway and Variety had confused everyone with the Gael Garcia Bernal 'announcement'.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 5th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
    thx for all the news...

    Driss Roukhe nice pick... the GZ cast is getting more and more interesting. can hardly wait for the outcome.

    RTS might be interesting too... don't care if they release the fil in summer o9r whenever.

    hope Paul and Matt get honored as they deserve it at the Empire Film Awards.

    pls can someone enlighten me... about the mystery "Margaret" ? *confused*


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 5th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
    'Margaret' is the film directed by Kenneth Lonergan (You can count on me) that Matt filmed on his days off from 'The Good Shepherd' in New York in late 2005-early 2006.

    The film is yet to be released due to problems over its length and issues with the distributor Fox Searchlight. Matt's got a decent-sized supporting role, and apparently plays a teacher (Mr Aaron).
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 5th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
    well I know about the film but I had no clue about the probs to release it ;)... will there ever be a release? I mean is there any argument strong enough to maintain it?

    anyway...thx for your info.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 6th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
    They'll release it eventually, if just to get rid of it. Maybe a small release on a few screens, or straight to video. There's big enough names in the cast for it to make some money, but the studio is obviously reluctant.

    Allison Janney is in the cast, and I saw an interview prior to "Juno"'s release saying that she was much more excited about "Margaret" than "Juno". The cast members had faith in the movie.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 6th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Chief Warrant Officer

    Having no knowledge of what a Chief Warrant Officer actually is or does and too much time on my hands :)I looked it up on wikipedia.


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 6th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Here's the media release about Matt's World Water Day advertisement for Pepsi/H2O Africa:


    And the advertisement is at yahoo:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 6th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
    and on the ethos hp

    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 6th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
    interesting reads... throughout all the linked web sides.

    "Ethos is a proud supporter of “Running The Sahara.” In theaters this spring."

    as per advertising.

    let's see if this campaign delivers what they expect.

    12 comments or Leave a comment