About a week or so ago, it was announced that the last remaining member of the Kennedy family serving in Congress, Patrick Kennedy, would not be running for re-election in the coming election. And for the first time in decades, there will not be a Kennedy in Congress. But the Kennedy legacy, as you might imagine, isn’t going anywhere. Mike Fleming at Deadline is reporting that Matt Damon is now attached to a biopic of Robert F. Kennedy, with Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) directing and Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) working up a script.
Based on the Evan Thomas written biography His Life, the film will take a look at Kennedy’s transformation from the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy to a national leader on the verge of becoming a Presidential candidate himself before being assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968. This would be the second film in the past decade to take on RFK, the other being Emilio Esteves’ very focused and excellent film Bobby, which took place entirely on the last day of Kennedy’s life and focused on the people around him. According to Fleming, Chris Columbus and his 1492 Pictures team are working on a film called The Last Campaign, which is focused on RFK’s Presidential campaign.
Though it is not clearly stated in the report, we can only assume that Matt Damon would play Robert F. Kennedy. Damon is certainly the type of name that could help get the project off the ground, but it’s hard to say whether he’s (a) still young enough to play a young RFK or (b) able to overcome the baggage of being “Matt Damon” enough to disappear into such a role. It could be a smarter play to go with a talented unknown, and leave Damon to a supporting role. Then again, that might not put money in the production budget.