Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are set to collaborate yet again, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday. The pair will produce “Race to the South Pole” for Warner Brothers (NYSE: TWX). The film tells the story of the rival polar explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen.
According to BBC History, Scott became a British national hero for leading the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904. In January 1912, the British explorer and his team -- Edward Wilson, Henry Bower, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans -- attempted to become the first humans to reach the South Pole. But when they got there, they found to their dismay that Amundsen and his men had reached it about a month before.
According to PBS.org, Amundsen won fame as the first person to travel the Northwest Passage. In 1899, the Norwegian explorer journeyed to Antarctica with Adrien de Gerlache, the leader of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition.
As Art Info notes, Scott, who had been planning and raising funds for his expedition since 1907, was devastated upon learning of Amundsen’s achievement and expressed his disappointment in a diary entry.
"The worst has happened,” Scott wrote. "All the day dreams must go … Great God! This is an awful place.”
As Scott, Wilson, Bowers, Evans and Oates made their way back to civilization, they found the minus-43 degrees faranheit temperature too difficult to bear. Evans died early in the journey back while Oates, who was suffering from frostbite, died shortly thereafter. The three remaining men, who sought shelter in a tent, died of starvation and exposure on March 29. Tragically, their bodies were discovered just 11 miles from a food depot.
The film adaptation of the story will be developed under Damon and Affleck’s production company Pearl Street, a division of Warner Bros. The company’s president, Jennifer Todd, will also serve as the film’s producer. Peter Glanz, who wrote and directed the forthcoming romantic comedy “The Longest Week,” is the film’s screenwriter. According to Indie Wire, Casey Affleck is in talks to portray Scott.
Both Affleck and Damon are set to appear separately in high-profile projects later this year. Affleck’s “Argo,” which he directed and stars in, has been generating major Oscar buzz following a strong debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Damon will soon be seen in Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land,” a film which he co-wrote and produced.
Damon and Affleck, who have been friends since childhood, have collaborated on a number of projects. In 1992, the Bostonites starred in “School Ties,” and in 1997 they penned the uplifting drama “Good Will Hunting.” Their screenwriting debut earned nine Academy Award nominations and two wins, including Best Screenplay.
That same year, Damon made a cameo in Affleck’s breakout film “Chasing Amy.” In 1999, the two stared as disgruntled angels in the controversial dark comedy “Dogma.” In 2004, Damon made a cameo in “Jersey Girl,” which stared Affleck.
The two are currently developing “Whitey,” a biopic about Boston mobster Whitney Bulger. According to Deadline, Affleck will direct the film while Damon is set to star as Bulger.