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Matt Damon News Column
New role and potential directing project
  • Matt is in early talks to direct The Foreigner, based on a story by David Grann at the New Yorker. The script was written by Argo's Chris Terrio. The Playlist broke the story, with other reports at Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

    Meanwhile, Damon looks to have found what will be his directorial debut: “A Murder Foretold," penned by Academy Award-winning “Argo” screenwriter Chris Terrio. The film is based off a 2008 New Yorker article by David Grann, that tells the true story of a man who is gunned down in the escalating violence in Guatemala, and leaves behind a videotape after his death implicating the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. Of course, this rocked the nation, with a special prosecutor who digs deep to find the shocking truth behind the man's murder. The project is currently set up at Paramount and Indian Paintbrush under Steve Zaillan’s Film Rites production banner. (Update: Following our report, Deadline has revealed the title of the movie to be "The Foreigner.")

    It’s still very early in the dealmaking process for “A Foreigner,” as Damon still needs to meet again with Paramount on what his plans are for the film, but if the deal is made, it would mark the actor’s directorial debut.

    Indian Paintbrush has a first-look distribution deal with Paramount, but the project is not set up at the studio at this point.

    Penned by “Argo” scribe Chris Terrio and based on the 2011 article “A Murder Foretold” by David Grann, the true story focuses on a murdered Guatemalan man who has videos of his killers distributed after his death in order to uproot the corruption that led to the death of many others.

  • Matt will have a small role in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, currently filming in Canada. Matt will film for two weeks in Iceland - also via The Playlist.

    The Playlist has learned that Matt Damon has joined Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” in a small, undisclosed role. The character, like all of the roles in the film, is being kept under wraps, but sources close to the actor tell us he’ll only be shooting on the project for two weeks in Iceland (for comparison sake, the entire shoot is scheduled for four months).

  • A story on Matt's visit to India for water.org is at the New York Times.

    Matt Damon finds it a challenge to get people to care about water. It’s why he was in India from Aug. 23 to 26 on a four-day tour. Not to promote his latest film Elysium, a sci-fi dystopia with a socialist underpinning, but to help the rural and urban poor in India get access to clean water and sanitation by investing in tube wells, hand pumps and toilets with proper drainage facilities.

    Mr. Damon cofounded Water.org, a Missouri-based nonprofit organization that partners with microfinance institutions to facilitate loans, so that people can afford the “dignity of a toilet” and “clean water.” In the five years that the organization has been active in India, it has helped 500,000 people in 11 states get microloans, and now the goal is increase this to 800,000 by 2016. It is a high bar that Mr. Damon and the group’s cofounder, Gary White, have set for themselves. Along with Mr. White, an engineer who has been working in the field of water sanitation for 23 years, Mr. Damon visited villages in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and urban slums in Bangalore, talking to women and children who have benefited from the project.
  • 16 comments or Leave a comment
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: August 29th, 2013 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
    What confounds me is that it's with Paramount and not WB and why his directorial debut isn't it with Pearl Street Films (Matt's & Ben's co. together).

    Edited at 2013-08-29 11:30 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 29th, 2013 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I included a line that it's not actually at Paramount, but that one of the producers has a deal there. It would still seem a natural fit for WB.

    Updated to note that the Hollywood Reporter was the only site to note that Matt was also starring in the film (hopefully this is incorrect as there really isn't an appropriate role for him in the New Yorker version of the story).

    Edited at 2013-08-31 06:51 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

    New Yorker article

    Wow, that New Yorker article is a stunner. Terrific reporting and an incredible story.

    It seems a very ambitious vehicle for a first time director. Lots of twists and turns in a complex story arc. And to me the the title suggests they might shoot in South America. If so, it could be somewhat expensive, too. And how do you handle the language issue? Whew! It's a lot to take on. It's not a genre picture, like Ben's first two attempts. How would they sell it? And you know there's no way the twist would be kept off the internet. I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but this would be an incredibly ambitious first attempt. Perhaps Terrio has simplified the story somewhat, but I'd still like to see Matt start off with something simpler. Lol - like I have any say in the matter!

    Any thoughts on when Matt might go to Iceland? It will be interesting to see what part of the cast is there with him. I'd like to see Matt onscreen with Michael Cane. I remember he said some nice things about Matt a few years ago, and he's such a down-to-earth pro. I think he and Matt would get along famously.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 29th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New Yorker article

    There were some comments at Deadline that the script is great, but it's much more difficult to handle than Argo (the reader thought it was more of a David Fincher project). It would be a lot to take on, but we know Matt has an interest in Guatemala and went there on trips with his mother as a teenager, and has said he would like to go back there and holiday with his family. This is one way of doing it.

    There's already a documentary of the story: https://twitter.com/IWillBeMurdered

    A tweet on 22 August now makes more sense:

    Julia Wilkins ‏@jujujulia00 22 Aug
    My uncle is going to Iceland to film a movie with Matt Damon...yeah that's dope.

    Report about Ishmail making the team:

    Edited at 2013-08-29 09:27 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New Yorker article

    I think "I Will Be Murdered" is a much cooler title.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New Yorker article

    Ish's twitter account is still pretty ghetto. We should expect to see Matt and Lucy at the games this fall, since Lucy was supposedely so into following his potential football career. Or the very least see pics of Ish with his father and stepmom Kirin (Lucy's sister).
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 29th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New Yorker article

    I was just about to post about his Twitter comments - it's being picked up by others and does not reflect well on him (or Matt of course).
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 30th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)

    Inappropriate sites

    First article attacking him. The Twitter site and Facebook page should have gone private or been removed months ago. Wonder if they can kick him off the team for bringing the Huskers into disrepute.


    Edited at 2013-08-30 04:40 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    taking time off

    it was just on the entertaiment news where l live. matt has said he is taking up too a year off too heip his family adjust to their new home and schools. so maybe he wont be doing all these other things.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 29th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: taking time off

    Not too sure about that. Matt's said before he would take a few months off, which now probably means he will be filming Interstellar for two weeks and prepping for The Foreigner (if he can convince execs to greenlight him as director and if it goes ahead in the short-term).
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 30th, 2013 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)


    I can't fund much on the filming in Iceland, but it looks like two weeks in southern Iceland may be all of the Iceland shoot (actors in the scenes not confirmed):


    The Icelandic production firm Saga Film has been authorized to set up nine containers of various sizes in South Iceland, because of the movie Interstellar. Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are coming to Iceland to star in the movie.

    It is estimated that the filming will take two weeks, and Saga Film has been authorized to repair paths around the filming location. The authorization is conditional on the land owners approval.

    Secrecy surrounds the new movie and when reporters asked for the report regarding the constructions at the filming location the reply was that its classified.

    A few articles on the scouting reports - it looks like Kirkjubaejarklaustur town in South Iceland was one of the locations



    The town is in a beautiful, stunning landscape:

    Discussion on Matt joining the cast on the Nolan Fans board, including possible suggestions about his character:

    Edited at 2013-08-30 10:47 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 30th, 2013 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)

    Matt and Channing

    An interview from Cancun about Matt and Channing after the White House Down party (I don't think that part of Matt's interview ever aired on the site):

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 30th, 2013 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)


    The Sky Movies (UK) Face to Face interview with Matt, Sharlto and Neill must have aired but it isn't available on YouTube or at their website (the YouTube links are to dodgy sites).

    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 30th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Fun video

    Here's some fun comments from AMC theaters about Matt's involvement in 'Interstellar'.


    At last I finally understand why Matt has such a capacity to draw people - he's made of chocolate! Ha, ha, love the enthusiasm. And I respectfully suggest that any time you are considering changing the name of this site you should use "Matt Damon is Chocolate" ;-)

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 31st, 2013 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)

    Documentary filming

    I'm not sure if it was for the climate change documentary, but Matt filmed at the LA Coroner's Office today. Someone claimed it was for a documentary, but it could be a reel for the studio - there was also filming at a restaurant.

    Kristin Choi ‏@kristin_choi 3h
    Wow my dad saw Matt Damon.... 😭😭💔 pic.twitter.com/iqnCvDthqq
    at a morgue! he was shooting there

    Edited at 2013-08-31 03:33 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 31st, 2013 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)


    A line from George in an Italian interview - this part doesn't appear to be online, from Clooney's Open House:

    You followed the controversy on the web for the choice of Ben Affleck for the new Batman?
    "I wrote Matt Damon the day after the news and I asked if he was playing Robin?" "Nope" I replied "You can be Robin or Batgirl." Matt is really a very good actor, you'll see what he does in my film."
    16 comments or Leave a comment