Brow Beat

They’re Letting Kenneth Lonergan Make a New Movie

Matt Damon, Anna Paquin, and Kenneth Lonergan in Margaret

Matt Damon, Anna Paquin, and Kenneth Lonergan in Margaret.

© 2011 Fox Searchlight

We don’t often write about new movies before they even go into production, but a new movie from Kenneth Lonergan—especially after his last movie spent a half decade in post-production limbo—is worth noting. In his 15-year career in film, Lonergan has directed only two movies, 2000’s You Can Count on Me and 2011’s Margaret, but each has been highly acclaimed and an event in its own way. After Margaret got tied up for more than 5 years in multiple lawsuits and battles over the final cut, it seemed uncertain whether Lonergan would ever get to make a movie again, even after critics rallied around the movie.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the new movie is set to pair Lonergan once again with Matt Damon, who also starred in Margaret, and may go into production as soon as this fall. Lonergan also wrote the screenplay for the drama, which is titled Manchester-by-the-Sea, after the Massachusetts town. Here’s the plot summary, via THR:

Damon will play a Boston-living ne’er-do-well plumber who is forced to return home to the titular town after he learns his brother passed away. (Damon is a Boston native.) There, he finds himself thrust into the care of the man’s 16-year old son but finds himself crumbling due to a secret tragedy in his past.

Billionaire producer Gigi Pritzker is near to signing on to finance and produce the movie, according to sources cited by THR, working with her production company OddLot Entertainment (Ender’s Game, Drive). Assuming the movie doesn’t get caught up in years of legal battles and editing disputes, Lonergan fans could be seeing Manchester-by-the-Sea as soon as next year.