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Matt Damon is set to reteam with writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, this time for a drama titled Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Sources say Gigi Pritzker, who is on hand at the Toronto Film Festival with Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut Rosewater, is close to signing a deal to produce and fully finance Manchester-by-the-Sea through her OddLot Entertainment.
OddLot, whose recent credits include Draft Day and Ender’s Game, is ramping up its output to 3-4 films a year in the less-than-$20 million range.
The elements came together very quickly, and pre-production is set to begin Monday for a fall shoot.
Lonergan is directing his own script, which is said to be tonally similar to You Can Count On Me, his 2000 breakthrough drama that starred Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney and which earned Lonergan a Oscar nomination for original screenplay.
In Manchester, Damon will play a Boston-living ne’er-do-well plumber who is forced to return home to the titular town after he learns his brother passed away. (Damon is a Boston native.) There, he finds himself thrust into the care of the man’s 16-year old son but finds himself crumbling due to a secret tragedy in his past.
Damon and Lonergan previously worked on Margaret, Lonergan’s drama whose release was snagged for years due to editing and budgetary issues. The movie was released in 2011.
This would be Longergan’s first movie since then, although the man has been busy with stage productions. Case in point: This Is Our Youth, which Lonergan wrote and which stars Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin, opens on Broadway Sept. 11.
Damon will slip the movie in before he rockets to The Martian, a Fox sci-fi drama being directed by Ridley Scott that is due to start in November.
Damon is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham while Longergan is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.
OddLot declined to comment.
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