Matt Damon Will Pull A Fast One In 'Charlatan'

Matt Damon is gonna be hella busy this awards season, with both George Clooney's Suburbicon and Alexander Payne's Downsizing vying for votes. He's already begun lining up what he'll do after the campaigning is done, and it looks like he'll be pulling a fast one on all of us. Variety reports Damon will star in Charlatan, about medical conman John Romulus Brinkley.

Brinkley's story was most recently detailed in the Sundance award-winning documentary, Nuts!, which my pal Elias Savada had a hand in producing. The new film will be a feature based on the book by Pope Brock about infamous huckster John R. Brinkley, who waved around his phony medical degree and scammed patients with a phony procedure to cure male impotence through the transplantation of goat testicles. Here's a synopsis of Brock' book:

In 1917, John R. Brinkley–America’s most brazen con man–introduced an outlandish surgical method for restoring fading male virility.

It was all nonsense, but thousands of eager customers quickly made “Dr.” Brinkley one of America’s richest men–and a national celebrity. The great quack buster Morris Fishbein vowed to put the country’ s “most daring and dangerous” charlatan out of business, yet each effort seemed only to spur Brinkley to new heights of ingenuity, and the worlds of advertising, broadcasting, and politics soon proved to be equally fertile grounds for his potent brand of flimflam.

Culminating in a decisive courtroom confrontation, Charlatan is a marvelous portrait of a boundlessly audacious rogue on the loose in an America ripe for the bamboozling.

Brinkley's story is pretty incredible, and the lengths he went to in order to peddle his scam should make for an interesting movie. The script will be penned by Brian Koppelman and David Levein, who also wrote Rounders, Ocean's 13, and The Girlfriend Experience. Not bad. Now let's see who Damon secures as a director because you know he'll have some input.