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Damon Takes DiCaprio Role in De Niro Pic

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Leonardo DiCaprio is out, and Matt Damon is in for a $110-million-plus pet project of Robert De Niro’s, The Good Shepherd, reports Variety.

Despite the casting switcheroo, filming is still slated to begin March 7, says the trade paper. No reason for the change is given. De Niro, 61, will star in and produce the movie.

The script by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) presents a history of the CIA as seen through the eyes of a career agent. Damon, 34, is no stranger to the agency, having just recently wrapped the spy thriller Syriana opposite his Ocean’s Twelve cohort, George Clooney.

In other movie news, Pierce Brosnan, still saying he’s permanently slipped out of his 007-sized Gucci loafers, tells Variety that his production company, called Irish Dream Time, has three movies in the pipeline: The Thomas Crown Affair II, The Perfect Gentleman and Lochinvar.

Brosnan, 51, will also be seen in a black comedy costarring Greg Kinnear set to premiere at the Sundance Festival in January, The Matador. In it, Brosnan plays a hit man who suffers a nervous breakdown.