- (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Matt Damon's agency has confirmed the actor will star in "an anti-fracking movie" entitled "The Promised Land" which he co-wrote with actor John Krasinski.
Krasinski, best known for his role on the television series "The Office," came up with the idea for the film. "The Promised Land" follows a salesman whose life changes after he arrives in a small town. The actor will play Damon's rival in the film about controversial drilling, reported Variety.
"The Promised Land" was to be Damon's directorial debut, but due to scheduling conflicts, the director of Damon's previous film "Good Will Hunting," Gus Van Sant, will take the job.
Filming is set to begin in the Pittsburgh area later this month, according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the practice of mixing sand, water, and chemicals into a well to break up rock to help extract natural gas. The use of chemicals causes concern that nearby drinking water is affected, and the safety of fracking is constantly questioned.
"The Promised Land" is not the first film to highlight the procedure. "Gasland" in 2010 caught the nation's attention and spotlighted the health concerns of citizens affected by fracking. The film garnered an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature in 2011.
Not everyone is concerned about fracking, and some groups support the procedure. The directors of FrackNation, a pro-fracking movie, posted the news of "The Promised Land" on their fundraising website Monday.
"We want to make FrackNation because we want the truth about franking to be told," added the directors on the site. "But it will not be easy getting the message out with a sequel to 'Gasland' in the works and now a big budget Hollywood movie concentrating on scare stories rather than true stories. Now, we recognize Hollywood movies don't have to be truthful - they just have to be entertaining, but it's likely that PROMISED LAND will increase unfounded concerns about fracking."