UK film powerhouse FilmFour has boarded Gus Van Sant's latest project Jerry in which Matt Damon - Oscar-winning co-writer and star of Van Sant's Good Will Hunting - and Casey Affleck, who also played in Good Will Hunting, are attached to star, according to sources on the Croisette.

The William Morris Agency (WMA) brokered the deal on behalf of Van Sant who retains North American and key European rights. FilmFour will distribute the film in the UK and Film Four International will handle the balance of the rest of the world. Neither WMA, which has several bids in for European rights, nor FilmFour had any comment.

The film, which is being veiled in secrecy, is a drama about two boys who go hiking in the desert and get lost. When one kills the other, the question asked by everyone at home is whether it was a mercy killing or not.

The deal marks another move into US pictures for FilmFour which recently set up a co-production alliance with Warner Bros, hired Rebecca Yeldham to run an LA office, boarded Warner's Death To Smoochy with Danny De Vito and Robin Williams and sealed a co-production deal with New York-based Hart Sharp Entertainment.

Van Sant, who has a first-look deal with USA Films, is returning to the independent world after making Psycho for Universal Pictures and Finding Forrester for Columbia Pictures, in the latter of which Damon had a cameo role. Miramax Films backed Good Will Hunting which won two Academy Awards and grossed more than $200m worldwide