Sean Penn is attached to play openly gay ’70s politician Harvey Milk and Damon is attached to play Milk’s killer, Dan White, in Gus Van Sant’s long-gestating Milk biopic says The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on a script by Dustin Lance Black (“Big Love”), the filmmakers are now in talks with a leading specialty division to launch the project about the first openly gay prominent elected official. White shot San Francisco city supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone in 1978 and after serving five years of a seven-year sentence, committed suicide in 1985.
The as-yet-untitled feature hopes to begin production in San Francisco as early as December, but the uncertain start date may affect Damon’s participation.
Van Sant’s project remains in a race against another Milk biopic at Warners from fellow openly gay director Bryan Singer, but that project is looking less likely to happen pre-strike due to Singer’s commitments to both “Valkyrie” and the “Superman” sequel. Van Sant in fact once wrote a draft of that project and was set to direct his adaptation for Warners.