Matt Damon and Christian Bale movies may start filming here in spring

March 7, 2012 12:34 am
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    Matt Damon.
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April will be anything but the cruelest month for filmmaking in Pittsburgh.

"Promised Land," a Gus Van Sant movie starring Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Frances McDormand, is looking for office space and advertising for crew on the Pittsburgh Film Office website and could start production in late April.

In addition, "Out of the Furnace" directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart") and starring Christian Bale and Robert Duvall is headed to Braddock and elsewhere, according to the film office and State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny. "Out of the Furnace" is also accepting resumes for crew, according to the job listings portion of the film office site.

Mr. Costa issued a press release Tuesday afternoon touting the 250-plus full-time jobs the $45 million movie will bring. "Filming will begin this spring and run for approximately 16 weeks," he said.

However, Relativity Media, which is producing "Out of the Furnace," had no comment Tuesday afternoon. The trade publication Variety has pointed out that producers are aiming for a late spring start but Relativity has not yet green lit the picture or firmed up deals with the actors, including Mr. Bale, Mr. Duvall and Zoe Saldana, in "early talks" for the project.

Variety has described the movie as a gritty throwback to 1970s movies, originally based on Brad Ingelsby's script "The Low Dweller" and revised by Mr. Cooper. It's about an ex-convict torn between his freedom and the temptation to avenge his brother's death.

Mr. Cooper directed Jeff Bridges to an Oscar as a broken-down country singer in "Crazy Heart" and helped Maggie Gyllenhaal score a nomination for supporting actress.

Talking about Mr. Damon, who came here in 1998 to make "Dogma" with director Kevin Smith, film office director Dawn Keezer said Tuesday, "We're happy to welcome him back to southwestern Pennsylvania."

Mr. Damon, who won an Oscar for co-writing "Good Will Hunting" with Ben Affleck, had planned to direct the movie but changed his mind due to scheduling issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He co-wrote the drama with Mr. Krasinski, best known for "The Office" but a big-screen actor with credits such as "Big Miracle," "It's Complicated" and "Away We Go."

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.
First Published 2012-03-06 23:17:01

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