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Matt Damon in early talks to lead The King of Oil, Krasinski may direct

Daniel Day-Lewis first came for everyone's milkshake in Paul Thomas Anderson's 2017 oil baron drama THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and now Deadline is getting word that Matt Damon is poised to do the same (sort of), as the SUBURBICON star is in early talks to lead THE KING OF OIL for Universal. Upon being tapped, the project is being set up Sunday Night Productions, which is John Krasinski’s production studio. Early word is saying that Krasinski may direct the drama, though nothing official has been written in stone at this time.

Based on The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich, a ruthless biographical tell-all of fugitive billionaire commodities trader Marc Rich written by Daniel Ammann, the film aims to uncover the greed and cunning of one of the most controversial international businessmen of all time. Krasinski and Allyson Seeger are producing for Sunday Night Productions, alongside Vincent Sieber and Uri Singer.

Those who were paying attention during the final days of the Clinton administration may recall that Rich received a controversial pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. As a child of the Holocaust, Rich grew to become the wealthiest and most influential oil and commodities trader of the century until his 1983 indictments on 65 criminal counts including tax evasion. Ammann's book recounted Rich’s illegal shenanigans in great detail, including his dealings with Iran during the hostage crisis and his quiet cooperation with the Cuban, Israeli, and U.S. governments. Rich, by way of the Glencore foundation, never went before a judge or jury for his crimes, upon which there were many. Rich died at the age of 78 in 2013, after succumbing to complications brought on by a stroke.

In 2012, Damon and Krasinski paired as a writing duo for director Gus Van Sant's PROMISED LAND, a drama centering on a salesman for a natural gas company who experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources. The duo then re-teamed in 2016 as producers for Kenneth Lonergan's MANCHESTER BY THE SEA starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler. Manchester went on to earn Cassey Affleck an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (for Affleck, again). THE KING OF OIL is a promising project for both talents to be certain, though we'll have to wait for the official word regarding their involvement in the upcoming pic.

 In the meantime, John Krasinski's A QUIET PLACE is scheduled for release on Digital and Blu-Ray July 10th.

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