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.