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Damon, Krasinski & Van Sant's Fracking Drama 'Promised Land' Hits Theaters December 28 for Oscar-Qualifying Run

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 23, 2012 at 5:05PM

Focus Features will release Matt Damon and John Krasinski's anti-fracking movie "Promised Land," which the pair co-wrote and star in together, in NY and LA theaters December 28 for an Oscar-qualifying run, followed by a January 2013 expansion.
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Damon & Krasinski

Focus Features will release Matt Damon and John Krasinski's anti-fracking movie "Promised Land," which the pair co-wrote and star in together, in NY and LA theaters December 28 for an Oscar-qualifying run, followed by a January 2013 expansion. It looks like Focus is adding this film to its award season plate along with Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" and Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina."

Damon was going to make his directing debut on the film but passed the baton to his "Good Will Hunting" director Gus Van Sant. The film was produced by Focus Features and co-financed by exec producer Participant Media. Damon and Krasinski also produced, with "Good Will Hunting" producer Chris Moore. They star alongside Rosemarie DeWitt, Frances McDormand, Hal Holbrook, Scoot McNairy and Titus Welliver.

Damon and Krasinski's screenplay is an adaptation of a story by author Dave Eggers, who worked with Krasinksi on "Away We Go." Political activist Damon is opposed to the practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a drilling process for extracting natural gas from shale rock which involves forcing masses of water and chemicals into wells and can taint ground water. (See Damon's 2010 Working Families Party video below.)

At the start of production, Krasinski said that he and Damon “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.”

The synopsis is below.

This article is related to: News, Matt Damon, Gus Van Sant, John Krasinski, Focus Features


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.