Gus Van Sant's 'Promised Land' Will Hit Theaters in Time For Awards Season

Gus Van Sant 2011

The contemporary drama, from Focus Features and Participant Media, stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski.

Focus Features will release Guz Van Sant's Promised Land in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 28, qualifying the film for awards consideration.

The film will expand its run in January 2013.

PHOTOS: 7 Music to Movie Directors: Michael Bay, David Fincher, Spike Jonze

Matt Damon and John Krasinski star in the contemporary drama and co-wrote the script based on a story by Dave Eggers. Participant Media co-financed the movie with Focus, which holds worldwide rights.

Promise Land reunites Van Sant with Damon for the first time since Good Will Hunting, the Oscar-winning drama co-starring and co-written by Damon and Ben Affleck. Krasinski and Damon produced Promised Land with Chris Moore, also a producer on Good Will Hunting.

The movie also reteams Focus and Van Sant, who teamed on Milk.

In Promised Land, Damon pays a corporate salesman who arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, played by Frances McDormand. The duo hope to convince the town's citizens -- striken hard by the economic recession -- to turn over drilling rights. But a grassroots campaign led by a respected schoolteacher, played by Hal Holbrook, and Krasinski's character complicate matters.

The cast also includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Scoot McNairy and Titus Welliver.

STORY: Gus Van Sant Taking Matt Damon's Place on Dave Eggers Project

Participant's Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King executive produced Promised Land with Van Sant and Ron Schmidt.

Focus -- currently in theaters with box office hit Moonrise Kingdom, directed by Wes Anderson -- is gearing up for a busy awards season between ParaNorman, which opened last weekend, and upcoming releases Hyde Park on the Hudson, Anna Karenina and Promised Land.