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Ben Affleck Returns To Boston For His Next Film; Will Write, Direct & Star In Dennis Lehane Adaptation 'Live By Night'

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 7, 2013 2:15 PM
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With his second Oscar under his belt for "Argo" and a plethora of options in front of him -- the Stephen King adaptation "The Stand," the remake of "Tell No One," and out his brewing Whitey Bulger biopic -- the filmmaker will be returning home for another Boston tale, albeit one that will see him raiding the costume departments.

First circling the project last fall, today it was made official, with Affleck to write, direct and star in the adaptation of Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night." Pre-production begins today on the story set during the Prohibition in Boston, centering on Joe Coughlin, the son of a cop who finds himself slipping into a life of organized crime. As he climbs the ladder of organized crime, he journeys from Tampa to Cuba, encounters various dames, lowlifes and more in tale of revenge and redemption. So basically, it sounds awesome.

Of course, the last time Affleck tackled Lehane, it was for "Gone Baby Gone," and that was a crackerjack and we expect nothing less here. Production is aiming to start in the fall, so casting news is likely not too far away.

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  • EMAN | May 9, 2013 2:56 PMReply

    Great for Ben! this should get him the oscar nom for best director he should have gone last year! but i agree that he should have cast someone else in the lead, in the book joe is suposed to be in his 20's, but i read that Affleck , who wrote the screen adaptation changed the main characters to be in thier 30's so he can be joe. this being now the case he should get Amy Adams as the redhead and Zoe Saldana as the Cuban.

  • macdomain | May 8, 2013 11:29 AMReply

    Truthfully Ben is a great director, and a good actor. His performance could be viewed as flat in "Argo", but one must understand that CIA agents like Tony Mendez aren't people with vibrant, dramatic personalities. They blend into the background to remain invisible. This said, Affleck's performance in "Argo" was right on the money- I think his understated performance was actually perfect. We are all used to seeing the leading man stand out, but in this case, he had to pull back and not make it a typical Hollywood leading man performance. As far as "Live by Night" is concerned, I think he will follow his sharp, educated instincts and make it another Oscar-caliber film. He is an exceptional storyteller and one of the best directors around, and I think his multiple awards are a testament to that. Best of luck, Ben.

  • MJ | May 8, 2013 10:28 AMReply

    It's a shame he's again taking a later installment in a series of Lehane novels thus killing chances of seeing the others, this book is a followup to The Given Day which was Lehane's most ambitious and interesting novel, that said I'm still down to see what Affleck does with it, though it should be noted that Boston is a jumping off point and little of the action takes places in the Northeast. Not to mention it's not like you can shoot here & pretend it's still Prohibition era Boston.

  • TheoC | May 7, 2013 6:32 PMReply

    Really hope he casts Casey as Joe. I could stretch to a Gosling though. Emma Stone for the red head? ( I haven't seen Gangster squad not sure if she can play this).

    Also towards the end of the book Lucky Luciano appears and Meyer Lansky is mentioned, I think this should cross over with Boardwalk Empire and have Vincent Piazza & Anatol Yusef play them, because I'm a fucking dweeb and this would make me wet myself.

  • Zack | May 7, 2013 9:48 PM

    That would be pretty amazing. On the subject of Boardwalk Empire, did you go "wait, Chalky?" the first time they mentioned Albert White too?

  • Triny | May 7, 2013 4:11 PMReply

    He needs to stop casting himself.

  • jt | May 8, 2013 4:08 AM

    I concur. Ben Affleck is a mediocre actor. He was dead weight in Argo and The Town. The problem with Affleck on film, he , annoyingly, takes himself too seriously. Ben only good performances were in Chasing Amy & his small part in Shakespeare In Love.

  • Real | May 7, 2013 3:06 PMReply

    I'd be so much more excited if Ben Affleck wasn't playing the main character. He's a great writer and director but he still isn't a great actor and he's definitely not right for Joe. If he has to act he should just give himself a juicy supporting part instead of making it another star vehicle for himself.

  • Zack | May 7, 2013 3:46 PM

    He'd be way better as Danny.

  • Carly | May 7, 2013 2:46 PMReply

    I wasn't a huge fan of the book (though I love everything else by Lehane) but I could definitely see this one being a great movie, especially with Affleck at the wheel.

  • Steve | May 7, 2013 2:37 PMReply

    Get Leo for a supporting role.

  • Zack | May 7, 2013 2:35 PMReply

    So is Affleck playing Joe? Because Joe's supposed to be 20.

  • Chaaa | May 7, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    But, but...what about The Stand!

  • gert | May 7, 2013 2:27 PMReply

    awesome, glad to have this one confirmed

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