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Gus Van Sant’s Matt Damon-Starrer Going to Universal; Ben Affleck Finds Writer for ‘The Stand’

Written by on January 18, 2012 

Now that the disappointment of Matt Damon leaving his planned directorial debut has been compensated for with Gus Van Sant‘s involvement, I can once again start to view the thing a smidge more objectively. And I can also gladly tell you that, according to Vulture, Universal will be picking up the film, after Warner Bros. dropped it for undisclosed reasons.

Once titled Gold Mist, the Damon and John Krasinski-scripted picture is reportedly inspired by the work of Frank Capra, centering on two corporate executives (to be played by either screenwriter) competing with one another; Frances McDormand is also slated to take some kind of part. The budget is currently slated at around $15 million — so long as the current negotiations go through — and this could allow for production to begin at the end of April or beginning of May. There’s also some mention about Universal’s involvement giving Damon room to re-enter the Bourne franchise — but let’s hold off on that for the moment.

Maybe he got cold feet himself, but Damon‘s childhood chum, Ben Affleck, is neck-deep in filmmaking at the moment. Argo is in the midst of filming right now, and he has a ton of other projects on his plate, the most interesting of which (to me) is The Stand. While Steve Kloves was originally hired to write it for director David Yates, the departure of the latter indicates the same for the former — turns out that’s the case.

So, Vulture also tells us that The Invasion and Blood Creek writer David Kajganich will take Stephen King‘s epic novel and translate it to the screen, for somewhere between one-to-three films. It’s a big job, one that the scribe gained after he “wowed” Warner Bros. with his adaptation of another extremely long King novel, It. (Other news: They’re still making a feature out of It.) I have no opinion on Kajganich as a screenwriter, but I’ll express some happiness that The Stand is still moving forward, despite the fact that we’re only reminded in a small update like this.

Do Damon and Affleck’s futures look good to you?


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