Just days after Matt Damon confirmed that he's settled on his first directing project, the actor tells GQ that he and Ben Affleck have also chosen their next collaboration: a movie about the reputed former godfather of the Irish Mob, one of the coldest, most ruthless figures in the history of organized crime.
"We're doing a Whitey Bulger movie," Damon says of the leader of South Boston's Winter Hill Gang, who had been on the lam for 16 years and was wanted for 19 murders, among other things, when he was apprehended in Santa Monica in June. "Warner's got it for us."
"There are a couple of competing movies and I don't think it's been announced yet that we're doing it," Damon says. "But the sooner it's announced the better, just because everyone else will back off, hopefully. I'm really excited about it."
So will Damon play the young, vital Bulger or the aging fugitive? The actor says he doesn't yet know. "If it's a straight biopic, we'll do it over a period of time. But it's always a question of what part of the story do you tell, and biopics are always a little cumbersome," Damon says. "So do we find another way in? We're still figuring it out."
We asked Mark if he would be in the movie and he said "After The Departed it's not really something you need to go back to."
He was excited about the "Fighter 2," though.
There'd been talk that Damon and Affleck, who won Oscars in 1998 for their best original screenplay Good Will Hunting, would next reteam on The Trade, about two Yankees pitchers who swapped wives in the '70s. But legal challenges have slowed that project, Damon says.
"That might happen at some point," he says. But the Bulger picture will come first.
Last week, meanwhile, Damon confirmed that he will be directing his first film for Warner Bros.: a script he co-wrote with John Krasinski of The Office. He's keeping mum about the idea, which Krasinski originally developed with Dave Eggers, but to say, "It's about a salesman who goes to this small town and how the salesman is changed by his experience there." Reports last week that the movie resembles Erin Brockovich and involves a mass poisoning in the town are wrong, he says, shaking his head.
"Nobody gets poisoned," says Damon, who plans to direct the untitled film early next year. "I don't know where that came from."
Matt Damon and John Krasinski seemed to be taking a party break from developing their untitled film together on Saturday night at 1920 Bunker Club in the Meatpacking District. Damon was seen dancing to hip-hop and sipping Champagne with Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt, and “The Office” star. Damon and Krasinski’s reps announced last week that Damon will make his directorial debut on a Warner Bros. film he’s co-written with Krasinski. The movie follows a salesman who moves to a small town. But don’t worry that Damon’s bro-mance with Ben Affleck might be replaced: Affleck just announced that he’ll direct Damon in an upcoming Whitey Bulger biopic.
Spotted: Matt Damon (sporting a shaved head), John Krasinski (The Office) & his wife Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) outside of La Esquina