Matt Damon to Play Mark Rich in John Krasinski's King of Oil

  • Matt Damon to Play Mark Rich in John Krasinski's King of Oil

Matt Damon to Play Mark Rich in John Krasinski's King of Oil

Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse will adapt the screenplay.

Produced by John Krasinski's Sunday Night Prods, the film is based on the book The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich written by Daniel Ammann, that sheds new light on one of the most controversial global businessmen of all time. We know Krasinski has a sci-fi film called Life on Mars lined up, but it's unclear when that project will begin production and whether this one could potentially jump ahead of it in line.

Matt Damon and John Krasinski are further cementing their professional relationship by likely teaming on a film that sounds a lot more cynical than the previous movies they've worked on together. At this point, Krasinski is simply attached to produce alongside his Sunday Night partner Allyson Seeger, as well as Vincent Sieber and Uri Singer, the latter of whom first optioned the book before partnering with Sunday Night. Executive V.P. Mark Sourian will oversee production for Universal. Rich, a child of the Holocaust, became the richest and most powerful commodities trader of the century.

Specialising in oil trading, Rich struck deals with states that were supposed to be under worldwide trade embargoes, including Cuban, Libyan, Chilean and South African regimes of the time and, crucially, 1970s Iran during a period of high tension with the US.

Rich was pardoned in 2000 by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. The Glencore founder never faced a judge or jury: Rich was in Switzerland when he was indicted on those criminal counts and lived his life overseas until he died at age 78 in 2013.

Damon's next onscreen project is the biographical drama Ford v. Ferrari starring alongside Christian Bale and Jon Bernthal based on the true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966. In the likelihood they work the deal out, there is even the possibility Krasinski could direct the film after previously finding tremendous success this year in his directorial debut, the crowd-pleasing horror pic, A Quiet Place. Krasinski next stars as Jack Ryan in the Amazon series.

Damon is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.