Natural gas drilling has starred in several documentary films in recent years, including Josh Fox’s Oscar-nominated “GasLand,” and now it’s set to become the subject of a major feature film starring Matt Damon. Last week, WME Agency, which represents Damon, confirmed to Politico that Damon will star in “Promised Land,” a movie about hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) – the controversial and environmentally destructive technique of removing natural gas from the earth. The movie is still in pre-production, and filming is scheduled to begin in the Pittsburgh area later this month.
Previously, it had been reported that Damon would make his directorial debut with the film, but director Gus Van Sant will take over the role due to Damon’s “scheduling issues.” The film will also feature John Krasinski (from The Office), who helped write the script with Damon and Dave Eggars.
Aside from the focus on fracking, few details have been leaked about the plot so far. According to Variety, Damon and Krasinski will star “as rival corporate executives, with the former thesp playing a character whose life is thrown into disarray after he arrives in a small town.” Filming is set to begin later this month in the Pittsburgh area and will run through early June, Politico reports, and according to IMDB, it will be released in 2013.
“Promised Land” isn’t the only film about fracking that will be in production this year, though. Seizing on the news about “Promised Land,” a group of natural gas backers are working on a pro-fracking movie called “FrackNation,” which recently received more than $200,000 in Kickstarter donations.
Photos by nicolas genin and Kristin Dos Santos