Matt Damon surely is having a busy year. He started 2013 with a short appearance in the documentary "The Man Who Saved the World," starred as an animal trainer in the HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra" in late May, and top-billed the science fiction cum action-thriller movie "Elysium" in August. He also appeared in the film "The Zero Theorem," which was just screened at this year's Venice International Film Festival. Expect Matt Damon to close the year on another high as his movie "The Monuments Men" is slated for release in December. If you're wondering what he will be doing next year, Damon just announced he would be joining the cast of "Interstellar," directed by Christopher Nolan, which is set to premiere in 2014.
Matt Damon is truly a one-of-a-kind actor. Gone are the days when he was struggling to enter the movie industry, trying his luck in small cameo roles for movies such as "Mystic Pizza" and "The Good Mother." Nowadays, Damon is associated with blockbuster movies, such as "Saving Private Ryan," the Bourne series, "Ocean's Eleven," and "The Departed." The movie that really opened doors for Damon, however, was his and Ben Affleck's first screenplay collaboration, "Good Will Hunting," which he top-billed together with Robin Williams and Ben Affleck. It garnered multiple awards at the Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for both Damon and Affleck. "Good Will Hunting" was a huge success, and Damon and Affleck rose to A-list status overnight because of it.
While his good friend Ben Affleck has dipped his toes in film-directing waters already, Damon has focused largely on his acting career. Rumor has it, however, that Damon is also set to try his hand behind the camera. He first attempted a directorial debut with the movie "A Promised Land," but Gus Van Sant, the director of "Good Will Hunting," took over the task because Damon was still shooting "Elysium" at the time. This time, however, the former Harvard student is seriously considering getting behind the camera with a movie tentatively titled as "A Foreigner." Written by "Argo" screenwriter Chris Terrio, "A Foreigner" is a real-life drama based on a 2008 article from The New Yorker. The story revolves around a man murdered in Guatemala, who left a videotape in which he accuses his wife, the Guatemalan president, and other close aides of his murder, and the legal investigation that ensues after the discovery of the tape.
If Damon has one asset going into his directorial debut, it's the fact that he's had the chance to work with the best filmmakers in Hollywood over the course of his acting career. He has worked several times with Steven Soderbergh, the director of "Ocean's Eleven," "Contagion," "The Informant," and the recent movie "Behind the Candelabra." Sodenbergh was also the director of the award-winning movies "Erin Brockovich," "Traffic," and "Out of Sight." Damon also starred in the Martin Scorcese movie "The Departed," Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo," the Coen Brothers' "True Grit," and Paul Greengrass' Bourne series. In an interview, Damon said that every movie he has been in felt like going to film school. If that is the case, he has been taught by some of the most talented and recognized directors in the movie industry. If he can relay everything he learned from these critically acclaimed filmmakers, then moviegoers are in for a treat when his directorial debut movie is released in the future.
Damon is yet to confirm if "A Foreigner" will indeed be his directorial debut, but if he does choose this project, it won't be long before he is compared with his best buddy, Ben Affleck. The latter acted in and directed the critically acclaimed "Argo." The movie won the Best Picture Academy Award and was also a box-office success. While Affleck's "The Town" wasn't as big as Argo when it opened in 2010, it received numerous nominations from several award-giving bodies and exceeded its budget by $120 million.
Damon doesn't really need to prove anything as an actor—he is one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood—but if he can show that he can also direct a blockbuster movie, then it may open a new era in his career. He would join the ranks of other actors who have gone on to direct, such as Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, and Sylvester Stallone. Each of these actors has received awards for their efforts. It may be a year or so before the media can decide if Damon does have talent for directing, but for now, the people can just enjoy his stellar acting skills on the big screen.