Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land (Focus Features, 12.28) was originally going to be directed by star and cowriter Matt Damon, but Damon gave up the reins due to scheduling issues. It seems to basically be a more solemn Local Hero with a likable young guy in a suit (i.e., Damon) presenting an ostensibly attractive offer to a small town, but representing natural gas interests instead of oil. The story has been more or less fully telegraphed by the trailer.

John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Black and Hal Holbrook costar.