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Tom McCarthy project confirmed

* Matt will be the lead in a new film for Tom McCarthy titled Stillwater. Details are at Variety. The film will start production in August.

"Stillwater” follows an American oil-rig rough neck from Oklahoma, played by Damon, who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter who is in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter. In the process, he develops a friendship with a local woman and her young daughter and embarks on a personal journey of discovery and a larger sense of belonging in the world.

Damon came close to starring in “Spotlight” when the project was coming together but couldn’t make his dates and had to pass on the project. Damon and McCarthy were still very interested in working together and when McCarthy presented him with the script, Damon jumped at the chance to star.

* Matt will also have a cameo in Kevin Smith's latest Jay and Silent Bob film.

* Matt received an Emmy nomination for hosting Saturday Night Live.

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EW's Ford v Ferrari preview

A preview of Ford v Ferrari is at Entertainment Weekly, including a few photos:

In the age of the superhero blockbuster, Ford v Ferrari is “an endangered species,” according to director James Mangold (Logan, Walk the Line). Recalls Damon: “As we were making it, we joked that it was the last movie ever. Luckily, we had this great character drama that was inside this other story.” But the old-school approach was crucial in preserving the heart of the film. “These are real people with love and loss and fears that aren’t handled in three mini-moments between the next 100-decibel, 12-minute action sequence,” says Mangold. “And it’s an acting tour de force — Matt and Christian have never been better.”

It certainly made a difference to Jason Bourne veteran Damon, no stranger to filming high-speed car scenes. “To feel those cars come roaring by is why people love racing. It was really exciting to shoot because it didn’t require you to use your imagination, it was all happening around you.”

Director Jams Mangold has advised there will be two different versions of the title — via his Twitter account:

It’s Le Mans 66 in UK and France and some other territories and Ford v Ferrari in the USA and rest of the world.

A different image from the film is at Empire Magazine.

An interview with one of the film's screenwriters is at WISHTV.com

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Ford v Ferrari at CinemaCon

The first footage from Ford v Ferrari has been shown at CinemaCon. Details are available at Indiewire and Variety.

Perhaps newly-minted Disney employee and Fox Film vice chairman Emma Watts said it best herself: movies like the studio’s “Ford v. Ferrari” are “an endangered species.”

Lucky, then, that Disney inherited the film earlier this month when it acquired 21st Century Fox, and Watts along with it to continue in her role as production president and one of the top creative forces. Watts presented the film to global movie theater owners on Wednesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The film, a muscular look at the engineer and driver who overcame the odds to build a race car for Ford that challenged Ferrari’s dominance, could be an Oscar contender for Fox and its new parent company, Walt Disney Studios.

Ford v. Ferrari’ has always been a mystery with megawatt talent — Christian Bale and Matt Damon star, James Mangold (“Logan”) directs the true story. The Ford car was designed to win the 1966 Le Mans race in France, a legendarily grueling competition that lasts 24 hours and leaves many an automobile in the junkyard.

The racing sequences are exhilarating, made elegant by the vintage car designs and exciting by how often they fall to pieces, catch fire or simply disintegrate in pursuit of glory.

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Australian travels continue

Matt and family continue to enjoy an extended holiday in Australia, and have recently spent time camping and surfing in Western Australia. Photos from Rottnest Island are available here. More details of the sponsored promotional arrangements for the tour (more than a year in the making for Hemsworth/Pataky), are available here.

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Australian visit

  • Matt, Lucy and family are currently visiting Australia for a holiday. After being in Byron Bay earlier in the week, Matt and Lucy today attended a UFC event in Melbourne with Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky - photos are at the Daily Mail.

  • Matt discussed water.org and Ford v Ferrari with the Toronto Sun:

    When we spoke last year, you had nothing on the docket. This June, you’ll be back on the big screen in Ford v. Ferrari. What can we expect from that?
    Well, it’s got Christian Bale in it, so that’s a reason to go see it. Whatever you may think of me, Christian Bale is in the movie, so come see it. It’s going to be really good.