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Half Way House
After the triumph of Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck found plenty of further success in acting, producing, and, in Affleck's case, directing, but they have yet to film another Damon-Affleck script. Just months after GWH's release, they already had a project set up with Castle Rock. Affleck described Half Way House as an ensemble piece set in a home for the mentally impaired. The pair was going to play workers in the facility, at least initially. "Damon now tells Affleck he wants to play one of the retarded residents," Variety's Army Archerd wrote in March 1998. "We've got 150 pages," Damon told Entertainment Weekly that year, "and about five are good." Whether he was being falsely modest or not, the film has been quietly dropped from both men's list of future projects.
With a ridiculous premise (summed up as "Alien on a train") and a title like ISOBAR (with its unfortunate echoes of Ishtar), what else could possibly go wrong? The word itself, which means both "a line on a weather map connecting points of equal atmospheric pressure" and "any of two or more kinds of atoms having the same atomic mass but different atomic numbers," doesn't seem catchy or plot-related, but producer Joel Silver loved the sound of it. Screenwriter Jim Uhls ( Fight Club) turned it into an acronym for the even-more-unwieldy "Intercontinental Subterranean Oscillo-magnetic Ballistic Aerodynamic Railway." Sylvester Stallone and Kim Basinger were set to star, but the 1995 bankruptcy of the independent production company Carolco ended production right before sets were to be built. However, don't give up hope yet: Dean Devlin may yet put this train back on its tracks.
Correction, June 30, 2010: The article originally misidentified the film's title as The Other Side of the World. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)