Published October 01, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Never let facts ruin a good story.
According to a New York Post article by documentary filmmaker and journalist Phelim McAleer, stars/screenwriters Matt Damon and John Krasinski were forced to make hasty re-writes to their forthcoming eco-drama, “Promised Land,” because it turned out that their premise was founded on fraud.
The film, due out in December and already attracting early Oscar buzz, is based on Damon’s corporate character working for a “villainous” oil company that seeks to infiltrate small-town America and deceive its innocent residents. However, he apparently falls for a local lady while Krasinski’s environmentalist character exposes the company’s real intentions to exploit and pollute the land, leaving Damon in the painful predicament of whether he should follow his heart and do “what is right,” or continue pushing the fracking agenda.
Yet McAleer, who is working on his own documentary FrackNation – exploring scare tactics perpetuated about the fracking industry – claims that since the screenplay was conceived, it has been proven countless times in court that anti-fracking activists are the ones found to be guilty of fraud and/or representation. The recent Dimock, Pa. incident, in which residents claimed fracking was ruining their drinking water, likely served as inspiration for the movie. The only problem is the claims were debunked as both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency, both of which found no evidence of contamination.
So what do you do when you are in the middle of filming a movie about bad guys who aren't so bad after all?
“According to sources close to the movie, they (Damon and Krasinski) have come up with a solution – anti-fracking fraudsters (such as Krasinski’s character) are really secret agents employed by the fossil-fuel industry to discredit the environmental movement,” McAleer told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It’s a ludicrous twist, a ludicrous movie.”
While this filmmaker insists that he has no problem with Hollywood indulging itself in fabrication, he is bothered by the screenwriting duo’s proclamations that the movie is based on an issue that “defines us as a country.”
“If you are making claims that the movie is about the American experience than you need to make it about that,” McAleer continued. “Yet they’ve twisted it so it still fits into their anti-fracking, anti-corporate ideology.”
In recent times, fracking, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, drilling deep into rock to release natural gas, has become a particularly passionate crusade for celebrities to fight against. In particular, Sean Lennon and his mom Yoko Ono formed a coalition and enlisted the likes of Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga to speak out against the controversial practice, which environmentalists claim injects tons of toxic chemicals into the ground, leading to serious air and water pollution.
However, McAleer claims that biggest mistake Damon and Co. may have made with the movie is drilling too deep too soon.
“I’m surprised they made a film about a breaking news story, based on headlines that turned out to be false,” he added. “Normally with issues like this, Hollywood would at least wait a couple of years until all the facts have come out.”
Reps for Damon, Krasinski and film distributors Focus Features did not respond to a request for comment.