Nasty Birthday Present For Matt Damon As Energy Companies Target New Film

It's Matt Damon's birthday but he won't be receiving many happy returns from some quarters, as his new film is reportedly getting a kicking from some very powerful people.

The actor, who is 42 today (October 8), is starring in Gus Van Sant's new movie 'Promised Land', a drama that takes on the controversial practice of fracking.

The film isn't out until December, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the energy companies are already gearing up to fight the film with a PR campaign.

Far from giving Damon a present and wishing that the actor has a happy day, the businesses are preparing to provide film reviewers with scientific studies, distribute leaflets to moviegoers and launching a "truth squad" initiative on Twitter and Facebook.

A spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents energy companies, told The Journal: "We have to address the concerns that are laid out in these types of films."

The movie will feature Damon as a gas company salesman trying to lease the rights to drill for gas. The process of "fracking", involving blasting millions of gallons, sand and chemicals into a well has become controversial, with residents in affected areas claiming it affects water quality and causes earthquakes.

However the CEO of Focus Features, James Schamus, seemed shocked about the targeting of Damon's new movie, telling the paper: "We've been surprised at the emergence of what looks like a concerted campaign targeting the film even before anyone's seen it."

Well, unlike those gearing up for battle over the movie, we'd just like to wish Matt a very happy birthday, and leave the arguments for another day.

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