Matt Damon's new movie Stillwater just debuted its first trailer and the Oscar-winner underwent a dramatic transformation for the role. In the film, Damon plays Bill Baker, a blue-collar dad who "works to exonerate his estranged daughter of a murder she never committed." For the part, Damon dons a thick goatee and a large tattoo on his left arm. He also spends many of his scenes sporting a trucker hat and black sunglasses.
Stillwater also stars Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Ender's Game), who plays Damon's fictional daughter, Allison, who is incarcerated in France. French actress Camille Cottin (Killing Eve) also stars, playing a single mother who helps Damon's character as he fights to free his daughter. The film's plot bears some small similarities to the real-life story of Amanda Knox, who was convicted of the 2007 murder of her roommate in Italy when she was 20 years old. Knox spent four years behind bars before being acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation. There is no word on if Knox's story was a direct inspiration for Stillwater.
The film is directed by Tom McCarthy, from a script he wrote with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, Noé Debré. McCarthey is most well-known for writing and directing the Academy Award-nominated films The Visitor and Spotlight, which also earned him an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. However, he has also directed episodes of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, as well as an unaired pilot for Game of Thrones.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the film, McCarthy shared some insight into Damon's character, explaining that he and his daughter have a "very fractured relationship." The director added, "He's a guy that's had a difficult life, he's struggled, but he sort of tried to make amends and do what's right, I think, when we meet him." In prepping for the film, McCarthy revealed that he and Damon headed to Stillwater, Oklahoma to spend time with the type of hard-working men that Damon is representing.
"Matt and I started going [to Oklahoma] early on to get a taste of the place and the people and spending time with roughnecks, in particular," he recalls. "They really opened up their lives to us, and their worlds and their families. They were incredibly instrumental in helping us shape the story." Stillwater is set to open in theaters on July 30.