But today, Focus Features announced the film was now in production and along with that news, the studio dropped the first official synopsis which reveals that the story does take place in the oil industry, but you won't see the f-word anywhere and thematically, it seems to be reaching for something more than just a political issue.
The film will find Damon playing Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by economic decline in recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally.
“Matt and I wanted to write a story about American identity. In all of today’s political and economic rhetoric, I feel people often lose sight of the deeper, core principles of what defines us as a country. We knew we needed to find a contemporary issue that would serve as the backdrop to the story but, more importantly, allow us to fully explore this idea,” Krasinski said in a statement. So while there will be an issue around which the story revolves, it seems it's all in serving the purpose of something deeper.
Rosemarie Dewitt, Scoot McNairy and Titus Welliver round out the cast, and issues-based drama or not, this one is certainly compelling.