The Good Shepherd: According to The Hollywood Reporter, less than three weeks after Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group decided against financing The Good Shepherd, the film appears to have found a new lease on life.

Matt Damon is in discussions to join "Shepherd," the long-gestating project about a career CIA agent. It is expected that he would step into the role that was originally to have been played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Financier Morgan Creek is in early discussions to board the project, which Universal Pictures would release domestically. A spokesperson for Morgan Creek said that no offer has gone out to Damon. But sources said early discussions about the actor's participation have begun.

Damon would star opposite Robert De Niro, who is to take a co-starring role in the film, which he also plans to direct. De Niro and partner Jane Rosenthal are producing through their Tribeca Prods. De Niro is aiming for a March 7 start date in the New York metropolitan area.