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Exclusive: Matt Damon Joins Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar,' Lines Up Directorial Debut 'The Foreigner'

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 28, 2013 3:27 PM
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So is Matt Damon reuniting with Paul Greengrass for another ‘Bourne’ film? While Twitch says yes, Universal Studios is denying their report. While we wait and see what shakes out, some surprising Damon-related news arrived when we turned to our trusted sources (you’ll remember we first reported on Greengrass leaving the 'Bourne 4' back in the day). But enough preamble...

The Playlist has learned that Matt Damon has joined Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” in a small, undisclosed role. The character, like all of the roles in the film, is being kept under wraps, but sources close to the actor tell us he’ll only be shooting on the project for two weeks in Iceland (for comparison sake, the entire shoot is scheduled for four months). It's another quick appearance for Damon in a forthcoming film, as he also has a small cameo in Terry Gilliam’s “The Zero Theorem,” which debuts at the Venice Film Festival very soon (look for our review in the upcoming days).

Meanwhile, Damon looks to have found what will be his directorial debut: “A Murder Foretold," penned by Academy Award-winning “Argo” screenwriter Chris Terrio. The film is based off a 2008 New Yorker article by David Grann, that tells the true story of a man who is gunned down in the escalating violence in Guatemala, and leaves behind a videotape after his death implicating the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. Of course, this rocked the nation, with a special prosecutor who digs deep to find the shocking truth behind the man's murder. The project is currently set up at Paramount and Indian Paintbrush under Steve Zaillan’s Film Rites production banner. (Update: Following our report, Deadline has revealed the title of the movie to be "The Foreigner.")

As you might remember, Damon was supposed to direct “Promised Land” in the beginning of 2012, but reshoots on “Elysium” overlapped into the time he had planned to do pre-production work on the movie. Knowing his schedule would be too tight, Damon made the early decision to bow out and found a replacement in friend and filmmaker Gus Van Sant. It was Damon's third time working with him, and having worked with helmers like Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Terry Gilliam, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood and many other auteurs, he's been itching to join his friend Ben Affleck in trying his hand at directing. (Damon is also attached to "Father Daughter Time" at Warner Bros. though it looks like 'Foretold' is going first.)

So some exciting plans on the horizon for Damon, but before we go, here's one last bit of "Interstellar" trivia: celebrated Indian actor Irrfan Khan ("Life Of Pi," "The Amazing Spider-Man") turned down a role in Nolan's film. "I was in talks with them for an important role. It had a great compact cast, but I can't divulge much about that. They expected a huge commitment from my end. I had to stay in the U.S. for four months at a stretch. I tried to work out my schedule and suggested if I could shuttle between India and the U.S. as it wouldn't have been possible for me to be there for that long," he told The Times Of India. "I wanted to be here for 'The Lunchbox' and 'D-Day.' They couldn't allow that. I don't have a tendency to regret what I do, but knowing it's a Christopher Nolan film, I can say that this has been one of the most difficult decisions I've made."

"Interstellar" opens on November 7, 2014.

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  • Just talkin | August 29, 2013 1:34 AMReply

    According to other sources his directorial debut will be called 'The Foreigner' or 'A Foreigner', although it is based on the article you cited.

  • Ed Rails | August 29, 2013 1:01 AMReply

    That New Yorker article is spectacular.

  • yod | August 29, 2013 12:53 AMReply

    "The film is based off a 2008 New Yorker article"

    What does based off even mean? Do you mean based on?

  • You | August 29, 2013 12:01 AMReply

    You forgot Steven Spielberg and the Coens. Oh, man, Matt Damon's just lapping the field now.

  • I | August 28, 2013 10:40 PMReply

    Well, he better hurry up, we've been shooting for a couple weeks now.

  • oogle monster | August 28, 2013 8:24 PMReply

    F YEAH! I love it when TP gets exclusives and all the other trades can't even handle.

  • Fanny | August 28, 2013 11:22 PM

    Deadline verified the story and yet failed to link. Typical.

  • Lezgot | August 28, 2013 6:17 PMReply

    I've always thought he and McConaughey looked a bit alike. Maybe brothers? Whether they are or not Damon should definitely do his McConaughey impression throughout the entire movie. That's gold.

  • Lizzie beez | August 28, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Being a Matt Damon fan is a fun ride :-)

  • Cyril | August 28, 2013 4:29 PMReply

    Travis is correct. The link is wrong. Do we know if Damon will also be starring or appearing in 'A Murder Foretold'?

  • Travis Hopson | August 28, 2013 4:21 PMReply

    I think you guys put up the wrong New Yorker link. You meant this David Grann story.

  • Travis Hopson | August 28, 2013 4:18 PMReply

    Wait, this A Murder Foretold is the same story that Christoph Waltz was circling a few months ago, only the film was titled True Crimes. Are they different movies?

  • Manny | August 28, 2013 4:12 PMReply

    If this cast gets any more awesome I may explode.

  • Melody Rivers | August 28, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    This makes me very happy - good news on both fronts. Maybe he's taking this minor part (although of course with a great director) so he can spend the rest of the year prepping and shooting his movie. Best wishes, Matt.

    So, Matt counters Batfleck with Nolan... The balls back to you, Ben.

  • John | August 28, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    Matt Damon.

  • Aurélien | August 28, 2013 4:57 PM

    Maaatt DAAaaamon.

  • Snow shoes | August 28, 2013 3:41 PMReply

    Fantastic, intelligent actor. I'm always interested in what he's up to. Just one more terrific director to add to his amazing roster.

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