Oscar winners Matt Damon and Casey Affleck are set to star in Apple’s heist movie The Instigators, which follows two thieves who go on the run — with the help of one of their therapists — after a robbery goes awry.
Doug Liman will direct from a script by Chuck Maclean, who worked with Damon on the Showtime series City on a Hill. Affleck developed the script with Jeff Robinov and John Graham, who will produce via Studio 8. Damon and Ben Affleck will also produce the film under their new company Artists Equity, along with Kevin Walsh of The Walsh Company. Walsh also produced Ridley Scott‘s upcoming Napoleon movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, so he already has a relationship with Apple.
Though Damon is known as Ben’s BFF, he and Casey worked together on the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy as well as Gus Van Sant‘s experimental film Gerry, and both Afflecks co-starred alongside Damon in Good Will Hunting. Damon also produced Manchester by the Sea and was initially slated to play the part that brought Casey a well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor. Matt and Ben will also reunite on a recently-wrapped Nike drama that will debut next year on Prime Video.
However, it was Apple that won this bidding war, and I’m not terribly surprised, as between the latest season of Ted Lasso, The Shrink Next Door and the upcoming Jason Segel–Harrison Ford series Shrinking, the streamer clearly has a thing for therapists. They won’t need to schedule an emergency session after this purchase, however, as this sounds like an exciting package and a fairly safe bet overall.
Some folks forget that Liman directed The Bourne Identity in 2002, and I would imagine that Apple will play up his reunion with Damon in the marketing, as a line like “From the director of The Bourne Identity” followed by a smash-cut to Matt Damon would no doubt entice a lot of new subscribers.
WME represents Damon and the Afflecks, while Liman is repped by CAA, and Deadline broke the news.