Damon and Affleck set for Hollywood reunion

Thirteen years after 'Good Will Hunting' launched them as A-list stars, actors to join forces once again

A childhood friendship between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck culminated in nine Oscar nominations – and two wins – when they both joined heads to write and star in Good Will Hunting more than a decade ago.

Since the late 1990s, each has married, settled down and forged his own path. Now, a decade after they starred in their last film together – Dogma – they are on the verge of signing a deal which may lead to a re-sparked writing-acting relationship.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that the two actors were on the verge of signing a deal with Warner Brothers which would lead them to produce films jointly in a "first look" deal with the studio, meaning Warner Brothers would get first refusal in any future film project.

While they have co-produced in the past, the news that they were coming together again led to widespread speculation that the collaboration could lead to a co-writing, co-starring role for the two friends.

Empire magazine said: "The duo have been talking about a second script for ages now and maybe this deal will give them the impetus they need."

Ali Jaafar, a correspondent at Variety film magazine, added that it marked the "next chapter" in their professional relationship, and said there was every likelihood the two would reunite in a film together.

"Since Good Will Hunting, which they co-wrote together, they have become stars in their own right, going their separate professional ways. I'm sure if they find the right project fit for one or both of them, it will make a [co-starring role] much likelier," he said.

The pair lived two blocks away from each other in their childhood town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and became fast friends. They attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, although in different year groups – Damon, 39, is two years older than Affleck.

Both aspiring actors burst the ramparts of Hollywood with their self-penned, self-starring, indie drama Good Will Hunting in 1997, which was directed by Gus Van Sant, and tells the story of a maths prodigy hoodlum from south Boston who worked as a cleaner. It was a financial and critical success, earning them numerous awards and propelling them to Hollywood prominence. Two years later, they once again starred in a film, Dogma, this time a surreal comedy, which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay (written by the film-maker Kevin Smith, a friend of theirs).

But after this final on-screen collaboration, they went their separate ways, Damon starring in a series of big-budget box office blockbusters such as Saving Private Ryan and the Bourne trilogy action thrillers, while Affleck's career was successful but tarred with a few notable flops and a stint in alcohol rehab. Latterly, he has turned to directing, making his debut, Gone Baby Gone, starring his brother, Casey, in 2007. The friends married their respective partners in the same year – 2005. While Affleck has had a series of high-profile romances with actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, Damon has remained out of the limelight, marrying Luciana Bozan Barroso, a former bartender he met in Miami.

Warner Brothers could not confirm the deal, but The Hollywood Reporter suggested an official announcement should arrive in the next few days.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing