×

‘Dark Tower’ Director Nikolaj Arcel Joins Matt Damon’s Robert F. Kennedy Movie

Matt Damon’s Robert F. Kennedy biopic “RFK” has picked up momentum as “The Dark Tower” director Nikolaj Arcel has signed on to direct Damon in the Warner Bros. project.

Arcel will direct from a script he co-wrote with Rasmus Heisterberg and Felipe Marino. Damon will produce with Jennifer Todd and Drew Vinton. Production is expected to start next year.

Kennedy ran the successful 1960 presidential campaign for his brother, John F. Kennedy, and served as U.S. Attorney General and top adviser to his brother between 1961 and 1963. He remained in the post for President Lyndon B. Johnson for several months after his brother’s assassination, then resigned to run for the U.S. Senate, representing New York.

Kennedy served until his assassination in June, 1968, while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination on a platform of ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The last day of Kennedy’s life was recapped in the 2006 film “Bobby,” directed by Emilio Estevez. That story mixed use of actual broadcast and newsfilm footage with dramatic sequences involving fictional characters at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles following his win of the 1968 Democratic Party presidential primary in California.

Arcel, a native of Copenhagen, came to prominence in 2009 as the screenwriter of the original “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” He then wrote and directed 2012’s “A Royal Affair,” starring Alicia Vikander, which was nominated for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards.

Damon, a native of Massachusetts, has said in interviews going to back to 2014 that he wanted to portray Robert F. Kennedy in a movie. He and Ben Affleck have a first-look producing deal at Warner Bros. through their Pearl Street production company. His recent producing credits include “Jason Bourne” and “Manchester by the Sea.”

Sony will open “The Dark Tower,” based on the Stephen King story and starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, on Aug. 4. Arcel is represented by WME, United Agents, and attorney Robert S. Wallerstein. The news was first reported by the Tracking Board.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content