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It's been a Matt Damon-filled day today here on Cinema Blend. First we heard his comments about Ben Affleck being the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, then we found out that he is joining the cast of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, and now The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the star is finally ready to make his directorial debut, now in talks to both helm and star in the international conspiracy thriller A Foreigner.
Based on a New Yorker article titled "A Murder Foretold," written by David Grann, the film will tell the true story of a man down in Guatemala "who leaves behind a videotape after his death implicating the country's president and first lady." The adaptation is being written by Chris Terrio, who earned near-universal acclaim and won an Academy Award for his Argo screenplay. I guess Affleck must have passed along his phone number.
We've been hearing about Damon potentially eying the director's chair for years now, but talk really heated up back in 2010 when there was talk that he could direct the wife swapping New York Yankee movie The Trade (at which time Affleck called Damon "a great director who just hasn't directed a movie.") Talks about that project ended up fizzling, but then it was reported that the actor was thinking about making the crime comedy Father Daughter Time. Shortly after he signed his Promised Land co-star John Krasinski to play the lead in the movie, but, once again, the film never came together.
One of Damon's greatest assets going into his directorial debut is the simple fact that he's had the chance to work with some of the best filmmakers in Hollywood over the course of his career. The star has gone on record saying that each project he takes on is like going to film school, and if that's the case he has had some of the best professors imaginable, having worked with Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, the Coen brothers, Steven Spielberg, Gus Van Sant, Cameron Crowe, Paul Greengrass and many, many more. If he can successfully adapt what he learned from all of those film sets into his own movie we should be in for a real treat.
If Damon is lucky he'll carve out a directing career even half as successful as Affleck's. The latter star completely turned his career around with Gone Baby Gone in 2007 and has only managed to improve with each new feature. Damon's career doesn't really need much rejuvenation, as he remains one of Hollywood's most reliable stars when it comes to quality, but it will be fascinating to see him enter into a whole new era of his career. While The Trade and Father Daughter Time seemed to fall apart, we really hope A Foreigner sticks and that we're now only a couple years away from seeing it on the big screen.