Matt Damon has long been talking up his desire to eventually direct, but when you have pals like Kenneth Lonergan, it can be easy to pass the reins to someone with that kind of talent. Indeed, when “Manchester By The Sea” was first brewing, Damon was going to direct and star in the Lonergan penned movie, but eventually turned things over to the filmmaker, and gave Casey Affleck his blessing to take over the lead role. The results speak for themselves. And now, another movie Damon had been eyeballing to direct is passing into someone else’s hands.
A half-decade ago, Damon lined up “Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses,” a project he would star in with eye toward making it his directorial debut as well. Looking to take a breather from his hectic schedule, the torch has been passed to Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior,” “The Accountant“) who will now direct the movie, with Damon sticking around to produce.
Penned by Matthew Aldrich (“Cleaner“), the story follows a man who goes on the lam with his daughter, who becomes his accomplice in a three-state crime spree. And O’Connor sees some rich themes to mine in the material.
“As a subject I’ve always wanted to explore the father daughter relationship,” he told Deadline. “I was a single dad for many years. And being a good father – a good example to my daughter – was deeply important to me. But as fathers we’re human – flawed – we make mistakes – and maybe we didn’t have good examples growing up – no strong female role models. So a daughter can be like a Martian to us. Yet you’re a part of each other. You will always be a part of them and they will always be a part of you. We form each other. And I wanted to explore that. How do you live inside that? How do you become a great dad to a daughter when no one taught you how?”
We’ll see how fast this movie gets going as O’Connor is pretty busy himself with a new Netflix series “Seven Seconds,” and he’s got the big “Green Hornet” reboot on his plate too. At any rate, Damon’s directorial debut will continue to wait.