Matt Damon to Star in, Produce Quack Doctor Film 'Charlatan'

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Matt Damon

Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the writing duo behind 'Ocean's Thirteen,' are adapting the 2008 nonfiction book by Pope Brock.

Matt Damon has optioned the book Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam and is developing it as a potential starring vehicle, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Damon, who stars in two fall films with awards-season hopes — George Clooney's Suburbicon and Alexander Payne's Downsizing — would play John R. Brinkley, a con man from Kansas who set up a medical practice in the 1920s and introduced an outlandish surgical method using goat glands to reverse impotence in local farmers. He quickly turned into America’s richest and most famous surgeon.

Published in 2008, Pope Brock's Charlatan is a nonfiction book that continues to be relevant in an age of false medical claims and miracle cures. Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the writing duo behind Ocean’s Thirteen, are adapting.

Damon will produce the film along with K Period Media's Kimberly Steward (the two also teamed on the drama Manchester by the Sea). Damon’s Pearl Street Films partner Jennifer Todd also is on board to produce.

WME, which reps Damon, Koppelman and Levien, is putting together the financing for the project. Koppelman and Levien are additionally handled by 3 Arts and attorney Karl Austen. Attorney Sam Fischer represents Damon.

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