Filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan spent years embroiled in disputes over the edit of his epic 2011 drama Margaret, but he’s keen on moving forward with his next film straight away. Lonergan is poised to reteam with Matt Damon on the drama Manchester-by-the-Sea (yes, the dashes are in the title). The story revolves around a Boston plumber who is forced to look after his 16-year-old nephew after his brother passes away, but is hindered in the effort by a secret tragedy in his past. Lonergan made his directorial debut with 2000’s excellent You Can Count on Me, and while he shot the NYC-set Margaret not long after, he and the studio butted heads on the final cut, leading to a lengthy delay that even saw Martin Scorsese personally oversee an edit of the feature.
Hit the jump for more on Manchester-by-the-Sea and how it will fit into Damon’s schedule.
Per THR, pre-production on Manchester-by-the-Sea is poised to begin on Monday in anticipation of a fall shoot. OddLot Entertainment is apparently close to signing a deal to produce and fully finance the drama, which is said to be tonally similar to You Can Count on Me. Lonergan wrote the script and will direct the film.
While Damon is poised to lead director Ridley Scott’s next feature, the sci-fi survival drama The Martian, it looks like he will be squeezing Manchester-by-the-Sea in before he reports to Scott’s set. This is fantastic news, as we’ve been deprived of more features from Longergan for far too long and Damon feels like the perfect fit to lead this Boston-set story. The actor took his time in choosing his next project, ultimately deciding on The Martian, but one imagines he took little convincing to sign on to this new Longergan film.
While Lonergan hasn’t made a movie since 2011’s Margaret, he’s been busy on the New York stage scene, recently shepherding Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our Youth, which opens on Broadway next week.