Matt Damon chose kids over directorial debut

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A 2012 drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Frances McDormand & Hal Holbrook. Written by Damon and Krasinski and based on a story by Dave Eggers, the film tells the story of corporate salesman Steve Butler (Damon), who seeks drilling rights in distressed communities, and local man Dustin Noble (Krasinski), who looks to oppose the sale.
January 3rd, 2013

Matt Damon decided not to direct 'Promised Land' to spend more time with his kids.

The father-of-four was due to make his directorial debut in the forthcoming drama movie - which he stars in alongside his co-writer and co-producer John Krasinski - but he pulled out of the role two weeks before the film was due to go into pre-production because he ''couldn't leave'' his children again.

He said: ''I decided that I wasn't going to direct it on December 15th [2011]. That was my last day of work. The Neill Blomkamp movie ['Elysium'] that I was on went over. I had been away from my kids, and then I got back and had to do a really intense week or two of press for 'We Bought A Zoo'.

''On December 15th, my last thing was 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart, and I finished it and got home and my year was over. I looked at the calendar and realised that, to get the movie out, I had to go into pre-production on January 2nd [2012]. I just couldn't leave the kids again. So, I had to call John, which was horrible.''

Following Matt's decision, he contacted his 'Good Will Hunting' director Gus Van Sant, who went on to replace him as the movie's helmer.

He added to Collider.com: ''The next morning, I was leaving to go to Florida with my family and I was sitting on the plane, feeling horrible.

''I emailed Gus and told him everything that had happened, and he emailed me back, right before we had to switch our phones off.

''He said, 'I love your writing. I'd love to read it.' At that point, it was what they officially call the Alec Baldwin moment. The flight attendant was like, 'Turn that f***ing thing off, or I'm going to come and take it from you!' So, I forwarded it to Gus from my Blackberry, as fast as I could, and then switched it off.''

'The Promised Land' is released in April 2013 in the UK.