UPDATE: The Playlist suggested, and Deadline Hollywood has confirmed, that Gus Van Sant is the man to step into Damon's shoes as director and lead this one to the screen. Expect to see other elements fall into place and filming start soon...
Following in the footsteps of bestest bud Ben Affleck, Matt Damon has been plotting his first crack at directing a film for ages now. But while it looked in October that he might finally be making the leap to hoisting a megaphone with an untitled drama for Warner Bros., the Hollywood Reporter now has it that Damon has decided to ditch that job.
He’s still going to star in the movie, which is wrapped in some secrecy but apparently focuses on a salesman who arrives in a small town and finds his life changed in unexpected ways. Damon cooked up the idea alongside McSweeney’s overlord/Where The Wild Things Are writer Dave Eggers and The Office’s John Krasinski and had written the script with Krasinski, who is also due to take a role.
But while he had intended to shepherd it to the screen himself, it would appear that scheduling issues (likely related to reshoots on District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium) have kept him from being able to prepare properly. Variety drops mention of script issues, which seems odd given Damon has been so directly involved. Still, it likely means a combination of both, with the pair tweaking the script until it’s perfect. Warners and the producers are now on the hunt for a replacement director.
Damon will next be seen in Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo, which arrives here on March 16.