Matt Damon Wants to Direct; Bin Laden Movie Bumped

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Today in film and television: Bigelow's Bin Laden movie pushed back, Matt Damon readies for his directorial debut, and John Singleton sues Paramount.

  • Sony sources says it "looks likely" that the studio will move the release date Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow's hunt for Bin Laden movie back from October 12 of next year to a date after the next presidential election. Maureen Dowd suggested in a column back in August that the film's release date could help the president's reelection efforts. That raised the ire of Rep. Peter King, who objected to the notion of the administration cooperating with filmmakers on a story that could help benefit Obama politically. No new date has been set, two studio sources suggest to Media Decoder's Michael Cieply that it "might not be released until early in 2013."  [Deadline and Media Decoder
  • When Matt Damon decides he's ready to make his directorial debut, he wants to have plenty options to choose from. His latest is an untitled drama described as being "in the vain of Erin Brockovich" that he co-wrote with Office star John Krasinski, who first developed the idea with Dave Eggers. The production is said to beeying a spring start" and supposedly "insiders say Damon will be in the helmer's chair with the untitled drama in the spring." Earlier this year, Damon set up Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses at Warners with an eye towards directing and starring in the film. [The Hollywood Reporter]   
  • According to the Los Angeles Times, director John Singleton invested $5 million of his own money in director Craig Brewer's Memphis-set hip-hop drama Hustle & Flow to help get the film make. When it sparked a bidding war at the 2005 Sundance film festival, Singleton spurned New Line's $10 million offer to take $9 from Paramount, because the studio "pledged to finance and distribute two films of Singleton's choosing, with $3.5-million budgets." Six years later, Singleton is suing Paramount for $20 million, claiming they didn't live up to their end of the bargain and foiled his attempts to make his two films. A studio representative said today the studio "was hoping" he'd produce the two films before his contract expired in 2010, at which point he went to direct Abduction for Lionsgate. In his suit, Singleton says the studio kept "asserting self-imposed, non-existent conditions" that stopped them from ever getting off the ground. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Lana and Andy Wachowski are returning to Warner Bros. for Jupiter Ascending, described as "the first major science fiction action franchise play since The Matrix." Those movies made Warners a mint, and the not-so-hot performance of Speed Racer in 2008 doesn't seem to be a problem. The siblings are currently working on the adaptation of David Mitchell's The Cloud Atlas, but production on Jupiter Ascending is on track to start in the spring. Until then, the studio is said to be discussing which star it wants  "to lead the cast while keeping the script and logline under tight wraps." [Deadline]

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