Oscar-nominated actor Matt Damon is being sought to star in Tom McCarthy's untitled movie about the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning reportage on the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, numerous individuals close to the project have told TheWrap.
Anonymous Content and Rocklin/Faust are producing the movie with Participant Media, which was planning to co-finance the film with DreamWorks before Steven Spielberg's studio pulled out of the sure-to-be controversial drama on Thursday.
Producers are now shopping the prestige project around town, with Warner Bros. the leading contender to distribute.
Described as being in the tonal vein of "All the Presidents Men," the story follows the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of its pedophile priests in Massachusetts.
The scandal was uncovered following a year-long investigation by the Boston Globe's spotlight team, which interviewed victims and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Their reporting eventually led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who hid years of serial abuse by other priests, and opened the floodgates to other disturbing revelations around the world.
For their efforts, the Globe team won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003.
While Damon hasn't read the script yet, the filmmakers have had their eye on the Boston native for at least two years as McCarthy worked on the project in secret. Damon is being eyed to play investigative journalist Mike Rezendes, who led the charge on behalf of the Globe.
McCarthy ("Win Win") is directing from a script by Josh Singer ("The West Wing").
Damon, who was nominated for acting Oscars for "Good Will Hunting" and "Invictus," next stars in Sony's "Elysium" and "The Monuments Men." He recently starred in Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra" and wrapped a supporting role in Terry Gilliam's "Zero Theorem." He's repped by WME and Ziffren, Brittenham.