James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari was greatly successful for the director from a financial standpoint, and now it boasts four Oscar nominations during an especially competitive year for film. Instead of stopping to smell the green, Mangold is already off to the races on a couple projects – including an adaptation of The Force with Matt Damon now attached to star.
Fox originally bought the rights to Don Winslow’s best-selling novel back a few years back, with Ronin and Hannibal writer David Mamet working on a script for a 2019 release. Since then, James Mangold and his Logan co-writer Scott Frank have taken over writing duties and Fox is under new management. Have you heard of Disney? The Force will now be produced under the new studio name “20th Century Studios,” and Matt Damon is taking the top billing.
Reminiscent of his role in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Matt Damon will be once again be playing a corrupt cop. But The Force explores a much more complex and entangled story. Don Winslow’s novel centers on an NYPD detective named Denny Malone who runs an elite crime fighting squad, but he's in over his head when it comes to blurring the lines between following the law and bending it.
According to Deadline, Matt Damon will play Denny Malone in the upcoming re-team-up with James Mangold. In the book, Denny becomes involved in a major corruption scandal involving Harlem drug gangs, mobsters, dirty cops and federal investigators. The detective is offered a deal to testify against his team in order to save his own skin.
Ridley Scott is on board to produce, along with Manchester by the Sea’s Kevin Walsh and Bad Times at the El Royale’s Steve Asbell. News of Matt Damon joining The Force comes just weeks after it was announced that James Mangold is also working on a biopic about Bob Dylan starring Little Women’s Timothée Chalamet.
James Mangold’s other film is going with the working title Going Electric, since it’s about Bob Dylan famously embracing the rock genre in 1965, much to the surprise of his folk following. Timothée Chalamet is one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, and can be seen soon in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch.
Matt Damon has a few exciting projects in the works besides The Force. He’ll lead Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater this fall, as well as The Last Duel with his frequent collaborator Ben Affleck, along with Adam Driver and Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer. Ridley Scott will direct the period piece, which is expected to hit theaters in January 2021.
Tune into the Oscars on February 9 to see how Ford v Ferrari does!