Oscar frontrunner Matthew McConaughey will play a suicidal man for Gus Van Sant in Sea Of Trees in an intriguing project that is yet to land with an international sales agent.

CAA and WME are in early stages of talks with financiers and jointly represent US rights.

Ken Watanabe will also star as a man lost in a forest near Mount Fuji who befriends the forlorn American.

Chris Sparling is writing the film and Gil Netter will produce.

McConaughey is regarded as the favourite to win the best actor Oscar on March 2 for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.