It appears as if Moneyball, the long in-development movie based on the popular book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, is back on track after a series of setbacks threatened to permanently derail the picture. According to THR, Bennett Miller (Capote) is in negotiations to direct, with Brad Pitt still attached to star.
Based on the true story of the Oakland A's manager Billy Beane and his unusual strategy for success, the script for Moneyball was originally written by Stan Chervin, but Steve Zaillian also worked on a draft of the script. Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh (The Informant) was initially attached to direct, but he was let go back in June over rumors that the studio did not agree with the unorthodox narrative structure he had planned for the movie. Following Soderbergh's dismissal, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was hired to pen a draft of the script, which will likely serve as the basis for the movie going forward. Posted 12.06.09 by BrentJS
Yesterday afternoon, Variety reported that Matt Damon has agreed to star in Hereafter, Clint Eastwood's next production, with a script by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen). Just hours later, Empire reported that Damon had also signed on to star in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming biopic of Liberace.
Although Warner Bros. is keeping the plot of Hereafter under wraps — describing it only as akin to The Sixth Sense — Movie Line, which claims to have a version of the script, has described the plot in extensive detail. Based on that description, the movie seems less a supernatural thriller and more a tragic meditation on death. Damon's character is described as a "handsome, shy, soft-spoken" factory worker who can ... yes, indeed ... see dead people. Production on Hereafter is expected to begin this fall.
Meanwhile, Soderbergh confirmed that Damon is onboard for his next project, saying at the Deauville Film Festival that Damon has "accepted the challenge." Damon would most likely play the male lover of Liberace, the flamboyant musician whose stage and TV career spanned from the 1940s to his death in the late 1980s. The movie will apparently focus on a 1982 lawsuit, in which Damon's character revealed Liberace's homosexuality, shocking many around the world.
The untitled project already has Michael Douglas on board in the main role, and Soderbergh talked about his enthusiasm for Douglas' fit for the role.
We've already done some costume and wardrobe tests on Michael, and they're very, very, very good.... I swear to you, Michael amazed me. He crushed it.
Damon has starred in other projects by both directors. He can be seen in Soderbergh's The Informant!, now in theaters, and he is also featured in Eastwood's Invictus, which is due out in December. The latter movie stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Damon as Francois Pienaar, captain of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup team. It tells the story of Mandela's attempts to use the rugby event to heal his country's reputation after years of apartheid and internal struggle. Posted 09.18.09 by reelz
Matt Damon gained 30 pounds to play the role of infamous corporate whistleblower Mark Whitacre, a top executive at agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland who helped the FBI expose price fixing at that company in the 1990s. If that doesn't sound like the setup for a successful comedy — even in the hands of director Steven Soderbergh — you could be right.
"...a groovy-looking, chuckle-baiting, fact-based movie from protean director Steven Soderbergh..."
— Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Who said true-life crime stories have to make serious movies? Bright, breezy, and downright goofy, this superbly captures the workings of Whitacre’s highly imaginative mind and the outlandish nature of the crime."
— Mark Salisbury, Premiere
"Amusingly eccentric rather than outright funny..."
— Todd McCarthy, Variety
"A comedy about corporate fraud, malfeasance, and a mental disorder that never quite succeeds as a comedy."
— Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"Unlike the director's [Soderbergh] usual organic efforts — in which great style never results in overstylized — The Informant! feels overamped from start to shrugging finish."
— Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice Posted 09.17.09 by reelz
Everyone's talking about New Moon star Taylor Lautner's impressive weight gain in anticipation of the heavy lifting he'll have to do in the soon-to-start-shooting Twilight sequel New Moon. But we still think the most remarkable transformation we've seen in a long while is the one Matt Damon pulled off for The Informant, which is due out later this year. Reportedly, Vincent D'Onofrio holds the all-time record for gaining weight for a movie role, packing on 70 lbs. for his part in Full Metal Jacket.
Contemplating the full blubber jacket Damon put on for The Informant in this US Magazine spread on shape-shifting thespians, we can't help but think of him as the new champ, regardless of actual numbers. Even his hair looks significantly chubbier than it usually does, a feat not even D'Onofrio could pull off. (He opted for the skinhead look instead.) Posted 01.20.09 by reelz
Looks like the golden boy from Boston has another project in the works. Matt Damon, whose third installment of the Bourne series, The Bourne Ultimatum, opens on Friday is finally getting his passion project with director Steven Soderbergh off the ground.
According to MTV.com, the two men have been trying to get their movie, The Informant, under way for years and filming is finally scheduled to start next spring. In it, Damon will play Mark Whitacre, the real-life whistleblower from Archer Daniels Midland who was defrauding the company while also ratting them out to the FBI. Not exactly what one would call a company man.
British funnyman Ricky Gervais (Night at the Museum, Extras) has signed to star in Early Retirement, a comedy about a workaholic who retires to spend more time with his family, says Variety. No directors are attached yet.
Jack Black has another high-concept comedy in the works, says Variety. Universal plans on making The Lost Adventures of Stone Perlmutter Jr., a mockumentary about an Indiana-Jones like adventurer who has a disasterous journey in seach of such artifacts as Yetis and the lost tomb of Jesus. Black will, of course, star. Posted 08.01.07 by reelz