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

Variety logo Variety 7/20/2017 Dave McNary
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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.

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