The Playlist

Discuss: Does Universal Need Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass To Return For 'Bourne'?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 20, 2012 10:24 AM
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  • 8 Comments
So far in 2012, Universal has been flexing their box office muscle hard thanks to the success of a couple of no frills action vehicles. Mark Wahlberg's midbudgeted ($25 million not including P&A) "Contraband" is already over $70 million worldwide (most of that from the domestic box office), with a number of foreign territories still to open. Meanwhile, audiences are loving the Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds pic "Safe House," with the movie pushing its way to number one in its second weekend, with the film already outpacing "Contraband" and on track to bag over $100 million at the domestic box office alone. And while the latter pic is pricier ($85 million plus P&A and whatever percentage off the top Denzel gets) the success of these two films illustrate that bare bones, raw knuckle action not only sells, but Universal knows how to sell it. So where does Jason Bourne fit in?

Gus Van Sant/Matt Damon's 'Promised Land' Goes To Focus & Participant; 'Rust And Bone' With Marion Cotillard Lands At Sony Pictures Classics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2012 7:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sundance may be over and the European Film Market may just be a short way off, but that doesn't mean the dealmaking takes a break. Two very high profile films have landed new homes this afternoon.

Universal Pick Up Gus Van Sant/Matt Damon Drama; 'The Invasion' Scribe David Kajganich To Rewrite Ben Affleck's 'The Stand'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 19, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments
No matter what they do, the fates of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will always be tied together. Having arrived as hot new things at the same time thanks to writing and starring in "Good Will Hunting" together, and cemented as a partnership thanks to joint appearances in various Kevin Smith films, it's easy to forget that the duo haven't worked together since Damon cameoed in the ill-fated "Jersey Girl." The pair are planning to reunite down the line -- with a film about legendary Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and "The Trade" a movie about wife swapping ball players in the works -- but with those efforts seemingly still a way off, they've got their own concerns.

Gus Van Sant Steps In To Helm Matt Damon’s Former Directorial Debut

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 6, 2012 10:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Sleeping on a story to see where it develops will get you burned. Case in point: yesterday’s story on Matt Damon walking away from his untitled directorial debut, which had been co-written by the Academy Award-winning writer (“Good Will Hunting”) and his pal John Krasinski, whom he hit it off with while filming “The Adjustment Bureau” in which Damon co-starred with Krasinski's wife, Emily Blunt (Krasinski is also set to appear in the upcoming film).

Matt Damon Drops Out Of Directorial Debut, But May Still Star In It

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 5, 2012 10:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Matt Damon has been a busy, busy man. He spent most of the fall juggling a very full calendar, stumping for two films ("Contagion" and "We Bought A Zoo") while also filming Neill Blomkamp's massive and mysterious sci-fi project "Elysium." The plan was that heading into the New Year, he would transition behind the camera to take on his directorial debut, but it appears there has been a change.

Frances McDormand Joins John Krasinski In Matt Damon's Directorial Debut

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 20, 2011 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
They are still, as far as we're aware, the best of pals, but it's hard not to see a vague sense of rivalry between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. After all, they arrived together, the disgustingly young stars and writers of "Good Will Hunting," winning an Oscar for their trouble with the script, and swiftly became Hollywood's hottest properties. Initially it was Affleck who looked to be the bigger star, with "Armageddon" and "Shakespeare in Love" arriving in quick succession, but he soon became stuck in the likes of "Paycheck" and "Gigli," while Damon became a megastar thanks to "The Bourne Identity" and has barely put a foot wrong since.

Matt Damon's Loyalty To Paul Greengrass & Friction With Tony Gilroy May Prevent Another Movie For Jason Bourne

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 20, 2011 9:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
It's pretty rare for nice guy Matt Damon to stick the knife in anyone, but when he spoke to GQ recently, his candid remarks about screenwriter, and longtime Bourne series scribe Tony Gilroy, made their way around the world. Calling Gilroy's draft for "The Bourne Ultimatum" a "career-ender" and "readable" (it was later rewritten by George Nolfi and Scott Z. Burns), it was another sting sent to the screenwriter who has already had a rocky relationship with the franchise.

Matt Damon & Cameron Crowe Respond To David Denby's Comments About 'We Bought A Zoo'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 14, 2011 11:17 AM
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  • 2 Comments
New Yorker critic David Denby doesn't seem to making many friends this month. In the midst of tangling with Scott Rudin over his embargo breaking "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" review, in an email to the producer, he tried to rationalize his decision to run his article early by throwing another big December movie under the bus.

Youch: Matt Damon Says Tony Gilroy's 'Bourne Ultimatum' Script Was An "Unreadable Career-Ender"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 13, 2011 1:17 PM
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  • 8 Comments
To say that Tony Gilroy has had a bumpy relationship with the Jason Bourne franchise would be an understatement. He has never been happy with what what Doug Liman did on "The Bourne Identity" (“Those works were never meant to be filmed,” he said dismissively about the Robert Ludlum books. “They weren’t about human behavior. They were about running to airports”) and was even less impressed by Paul Greengrass' work on "The Bourne Supremacy" ("It was sort of like a crime against the gods of storytelling," he said). But the films made money. Lots of money. And moreover, Universal didn't want to jinx their luck by trying to get new writers to take on the franchise for "The Bourne Ultimatum," so they essentially gave Gilroy everything he wanted to write the third movie. Gilroy got a shit-ton of money and added stipulations that he just had to turn in one draft, he would take no notes nor would anyone be allowed to oversee what he was doing. Prime working conditions for any writer, but according to Matt Damon, that was massive mistake.

Review: Feel-Good & Earnest 'We Bought A Zoo' Hits All The Heartwarming Notes

  • By The Playlist
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  • November 27, 2011 12:25 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Pitched somewhere between an earnest and romantically idealistic chronicle of loss and hope and a poignant examination of grief and bitter pains of family, Cameron Crowe's "We Bought A Zoo," occasionally still slathers it on too thick with the saccharine sentimentality and telegraphed romantic clichés, but by and large, the picture still succeeds in its heartwarming aims thanks to its naked, heart-on-its sleeve sincerity. Not an easy trick in an age of cynicism and information, but one that ultimately works regardless.

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