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"Stillwater" Movie Plot Guessed by Students

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Horse statue outside the Student Union on Friday, May 1, 2020.

Marseille, France; Matt Damon; and Stillwater, Oklahoma: an unlikely trio of people and places that are coming together to make what could be an Academy Award-winning movie. 

“Stillwater,” directed by Tom McCarthy, is an upcoming film about a father, played by Matt Damon, who travels from his home in rural Stillwater, Oklahoma to a city in France in hopes to help his daughter who has been arrested for murder.

Due to COVID-19, the release date was postponed from November of 2020 to the sometime in the summer of 2021.

However, due to the postponement of the movie, I have found that a lot of people didn’t even know of the film's existence, therefore allowing me to have some fun with the students around campus.

I asked students what they thought a movie titled Stillwater was about. 

“A tale of two sides of town,” said Ryan Schroeder. “The Walmart on Perkins and Walmart on 6th. A fight that lives on through generations in Stillwater.”

Schroeder believed that this movie would be more comical, showcasing rising tension, to a final, dramatic battle. His description made me think of a “Romeo and Juliette” or “West Side Story”-esque movie, except without the love and romance.

For business major, Pierce Rupert, his love for the stock market and economy played a big role in his movie pitch.

 “I believe the movie would be about the transition of Stillwater into a larger college town economy as the school grew,” said Rupert. “The plot may revolve around Damon’s character as either a local politician--like a mayor, university head or official, or businessman taking on the challenge of heading the transition, but the town’s natives are not excited about the mass inflow of people.”

I may have let it slip that Matt Damon was the main character in the upcoming movie when asking Rupert his thoughts, so his synopsis revolved around the position he thought Damon played.

For Adeline Pace, the movie had a more “alternate reality” approach.

“So everyone knows about the tunnels under OSU, but nobody knows what goes on under there, [in the movie] everyone jokes about people living down there,” said Pace. “Then, it’ll pan underground to the tunnels and there actually is a whole city living below.”

Making me believe that she is a big fan of both action and horror movies, I found her theory taking a Jordan Peele style, reminding me of the movie “Us.”

“The population of the underground city is shrinking, so they need to take people from Stillwater. First, a thirteen-year-old boy is taken when out skateboarding one night and his family reports him. Then more people are seen to be disappearing, and nobody seems to know what’s going on. Then finally the president of OSU goes missing.”

Bringing in action, drama, and in my opinion, a little bit of horror, Pace had an extremely elaborate storyline. 

“The protagonist of my story is a college student named Pete, who decides to go and get all the missing people back, going on an epic adventure exploring what isn’t just a tunnel to Edmond Low, but an entire city system.”