The last time we saw Matt Damon on the big screen, he was speeding on the race track in the Oscar-winning Ford v. Ferrari as the legendary car manufacturer Carroll Shelby. Matt Damon movies have been unbelievably consistent over the years; he has appeared in at least one movie every year since 1995. The tumultuous 2020, however, will bring an end to that streak, as the anticipated Ridley Scott-directed The Last Duel Damon leads has been delayed to 2021.
One of Hollywood’s marquee names, Matt Damon has a career many would envy, one where he’s gotten to show both his comedic and dramatic skills. Emerging in the late ‘90s with Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan and Rounders, Damon established his stardom in the Bourne Identity and its sequels and the Ocean’s trilogy. He’s also worked with some of the best directors out there, including Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese (The Departed), the Coen Bros (True Grit) and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar). He’s had some fun with memorable cameos too in EuroTrip, Entourage and more.
So what’s next for Matt Damon? Let’s take a look at what we have to look forward to from Damon as an actor as well as behind the scenes in the near future.
The Last Duel - Oct. 15, 2021 (Post-Production)
The Last Duel was a highly anticipated 2020 title that like so many projects punted on this year for what many hope will be safer waters in 2021. The Last Duel is a period drama set in the days of King Charles VI, where a knight, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), is ordered by the king to settle his disputes with his squire in a duel.
The project is a reunion between Damon and director Ridley Scott, the two having previously worked together on 2015’s The Martian. It is also the first time that Damon will act with his Good Will Hunting co-star and co-writer Ben Affleck since Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (both actors did appear in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but their cameo appearances did not cross on screen). The Good Will Hunting pair also co-wrote the screenplay.
Other headliners for the cast include Adam Driver as Matt Damon’s squire turned foe Jacques LeGris and Killing Eve star Jodie Comer as Damon’s wife, Marguerite de Carrouges.
The Last Duel was originally slated to come out on Christmas Day this year, but Disney announced in July that it was pushing the film to Oct. 15, 2021. The film did suffer some setbacks because of the pandemic, as it halted production in March that was due to take place on location in Ireland.
If you’re thinking to yourself that The Last Duel doesn’t sound like your typical Disney movie, you’d be correct. The film is a 20th Century Studios production, which following the Disney acquisition of Fox means it now ultimately falls under the Mouse House’s roof.
With all of the talent involved, The Last Duel had expectations of making a run for the Oscars. A prime fall release date in 2021 keeps those expectations alive, if delayed.
Stillwater, TBD (Post Production)
Another Matt Damon movie that had some 2020 aspirations is Stillwater. Directed by Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Stillwater features Damon as an Oklahoma oil rigger who is forced to go to France for his estranged daughter, who is in prison for a murder that she says she didn’t commit. Damon’s character—who has the all-American name Bill Baker—must deal with language barriers and a complicated legal system as he fights to exonerate his daughter.
Abigail Breslin also stars in the film as the daughter of Matt Damon’s Baker. Additional supporting actors include Deanna Dunagan and Camille Cottin, who play a mother and daughter that Baker befriends in France.
Had a normal award season occurred in 2020, Matt Damon may have been one of the most predominant acting contenders, as Stillwater was initially reported to have a Nov. 6 release date, expanding throughout the month. Focus Features’ official site for Stillwater, however, simply has it listed as “Coming Soon.”
Matt Damon is already an Oscar winner for Good Will Hunting (Best Original Screenplay), but he has not won an acting award despite three nominations to date—Best Actor for Good Will Hunting and The Martian, and Best Supporting Actor for Invictus. Between The Last Duel and Stillwater, he could have easily been in the thick of another nomination and potentially a win.
No Sudden Move, TBD (Post-Production)
Matt Damon has been the unofficial king of the cameos in recent years. Beyond his above-mentioned appearance in 2019’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Damon has made memorable appearances in Deadpool 2 and Thor: Ragnarok over the last couple of years.
Damon also has done a handful of cameos in some of long-time collaborator Steven Soderbergh’s films, and could have another one on his hands with a report that he will appear in Soderbergh’s HBO Max film No Sudden Move.
No Sudden Move is set in 1955 Detroit and follows a group of small-time criminals hired to steal a simple document. However, when the job goes wrong, they search for the mysterious party who hired them and learn of the much bigger game that they have unwittingly become a part of. The unsurprisingly star-studded ensemble cast includes Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Amy Seimetz, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Bill Duke, Frankie Shaw and Julia Fox. Damon, according to Deadline, was set to shoot his part in two days this past November.
Matt Damon is no stranger to a Steven Soderbergh film. In addition to starring as Linus Caldwell in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen, Damon has appeared in Soderbergh’s Contagion, The Informant, Behind the Candelabra, as well as cameos in Unsane and Che: Part Two.
Slated as an HBO Max film, No Sudden Move would not appear to be heading to the big screen, unless Warner Bros. Pictures decides to add it to its slate of 2021 films that were announced as getting day-and-date releases on the streaming service and in theaters, or if the strategy goes beyond the one-year plan that has been announced. Though Soderbergh’s latest film, Let Them All Talk, starring Meryl Streep is exclusively playing on HBO Max.
The Force (Pre-Production)
Shortly after Ford v. Ferrari released and proved to be both a box-office and critical success, Matt Damon signed on for another go-around with director James Mangold, this time in a crime drama titled The Force.
The Force is an adaptation of the Don Winslow 2017 best selling novel of the same name. The story focuses on Denny Malone (Damon), a NYPD detective who runs an elite crime fighting squad, but whose bending of the law leads to problems when the group becomes involved in a pending corruption scandal, with pressures coming from both the outside world and inside his own team.
The original script was written by David Mamet, but Mangold and Scott Frank (creator of Netflix's The Queen's Gambit) have worked on subsequent drafts.
Mangold has another project in the works, a Bob Dylan biopic with Timothee Chalamet attached, so no word as to where The Force will fall in the pecking order.
Projects Matt Damon Is Producing
Matt Damon is best known as a leading man, but he has also used his industry clout as a producer with his production company Pearl Street Films, which he established with Ben Affleck. Among some of Damon’s most recent producing credits were Jason Bourne, for the Showtime series City on a Hill and the Best Picture-nominated Manchest by the Sea. His next producing credit is as an executive producer on The Last Duel, but he also has a couple of announced producing projects potentially on the horizon.
One, which was first announced way back in 2016, is a new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution. An initial report from Variety said that Ben Affleck was set to direct and star, with Damon on board as a producer.
Witness for the Prosecution follows a veteran lawyer who becomes involved in a trial where a man is accused of murdering the woman who recently named him the benefactor in her will. It was originally brought to the screen by Billy Wilder in 1957.
When asked about Witness for the Prosecution in 2019, Affleck could not commit whether it would be his next film, as he said he was developing multiple projects. So for now we simply know that it’s in the pipeline, but don’t know when we may eventually see it.
Even further back, in 2015 it was reported that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were producing Thirst for HBO, a TV movie that would deal with the global water crisis from director Elliott Lester. There has been no news on the project since that original announcement.
Matt Damon’s Recent Movies
Right now, for fans of Matt Damon the best way to enjoy the actor is by watching his already released work. It may be a great time to catch up on some of his stuff that you may have missed recently. This can include the previously mentioned Ford v. Ferrari, which is available on HBO Max and as part of premium subscriptions for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Or maybe one of his 2017 films, Suburbicon or Downsizing, both of which are available through premium Hulu subscriptions.
Then there’s the chance to make it a multiplatform day with 2016’s The Great Wall, which is available to watch once again on Hulu and was the subject of an episode of the popular podcast How Did This Get Made.
Or, you can always enjoy Matt Damon’s ongoing “feud” with Jimmy Kimmel, which as we learned last summer saw Damon sheltering in place in one of Kimmel’s bedrooms.
What upcoming Matt Damon films are you most excited to see? What’s a recent film of his that you need to catch up on? Comment below to add to the discussion and check back with CinemaBlend to find out the latest news on these and other Matt Damon projects.
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D.C.-based cinephile. Will dabble in just about any movie genre, but passionate about discovering classic films/film history and tracking the Oscar race.