Focus, Participant preem Gus Van Sant's 'Promised Land'

Focus Features and Participant Media celebrated the preem of the last major release of 2012, Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land,” which beats the annual awards cutoff by planting itself in select theaters on Dec. 28.

Stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, who also co-wrote and produced the movie, were on hand Thursday at the DGA before heading over to Fig & Olive for a spirited afterparty.

Pic was slated to be Damon’s directorial debut, but the family man was forced to hand Van Sant the reins when his sci-fi pic “Elysium” ran over sked. “I had just come home, I hadn’t seen my kids, and I was going to have to go into pre-production two weeks later, so once the reality of that finally hit me, I called John and said, ‘I can’t do it.’ After a worldwide search and 40 or 50 directors turning us down, we ended up with Gus, which was OK,” joked Damon.

Krasinski referred to his and Damon’s collaboration on the screenplay as “moonlighting,” since “he was shooting ‘We Bought a Zoo’ and I was shooting ‘The Office.’ I would show up to his house on Saturday morning for breakfast and stay until dinner, and then come back Sunday and do it all over again. Between putting ‘The Little Mermaid’ on 17 times for his four beautiful daughters and making lunches and bath time, I don’t know how we got any work done, but we did.”

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