Warner Bros. plays 'Polo'
Historical epic to feature Damon as explorer
"Kingdom of Heaven" scribe William Monahan will turn his attention from the 12th century Crusades to the 13th century Far East explorations of Marco Polo.
Warner Bros Pictures has set Kingdom of Heaven screenwriter William Monahan to write Marco Polo, a historical epic based on Polo's autobiography "Travels" that will be a star vehicle for Matt Damon.
Variety says a deal is being negotiated for Damon to play Polo, who ventured farther into Asia than any Westerner before him. His journey took 24 years, during which Polo became a confidante of Kublai Khan and witness to many technological advances of China and Mongolia.
Pic will be produced by "Ocean's Twelve" scribe George Nolfi and Michael Hackett. It is the first producing project for Nolfi and Hackett since their Gambit Pictures was staked to a first-look first-look deal at WB. Nolfi and Hackett came up with the idea for the film, and quickly hooked Monahan and Damon.
Damon has wrapped "The Brothers Grimm" and "Syriana" and will next star in "The Departed" for WB, and will follow with the Robert De Niro-directed "The Good Shepherd He is also expected to reprise the lead role as Jason Bourne in "The Bourne Ultimatum."