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Ben Affleck In Early Talks To Direct & Possibly Star In 'Replay'

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 19, 2010 7:02 AM
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We weren't kidding when we said Ben Affleck was hot a ticket around town. The director, who is riding high off the box office and critical success of "The Town" is now the darling of Warner Bros. who are eager to retain him for his next pic. They recently offered him "Tales From The Gangster Squad" but it looks like another film may be catching his fancy.

Deadline reports that Ben Affleck is in early talks to direct "Replay," an adaptation of Ken Grimwood's novel. Written by Jason Smilovic ("My Own Worst Enemy," "Kidnapped") the tale revolves around "a 43-year old radio journalist who dies, wakes up in his 18-year old body, and gets to relive his life over and over. With his original memory intact, he takes the opportunity to travel down roads he passed up the first time around." But "Freaky Friday" this isn't. In fact it's a thriller that with the protagonist able to play out choices he didn't make and a serial killer even pops up. Here's the full synopsis of the book from Publisher's Weekly:

In this intriguing fantasy adventure, Jeff Winston, a failing 43-year-old radio journalist, dies and wakes up in his 18-year-old body in 1963 with his memories of the next 25 years intact. He views the future from the perspective of naive 1963: "null-eyed punks in leather and chains . . . death-beams in orbit around the polluted, choking earth . . . his world sounded like the most nightmarish of science fiction." But Grimwood has transcended genre with this carefully observed, literate and original story. Jeff's knowledge soon becomes as much a curse as a blessing. After recovering from the shock (is the future a dream, or is it real life?), he plays out missed choices. In one life, for example, he falls in love with Pamela, a housewife who died nine minutes after Jeff; they try to warn the world of the disasters it faces, coming in conflict with the government and history. A third replayer turns out to be a serial killer, murdering the same people over and over. Jeff and Pamela are still searching for some missing part of their lives when they notice they are returning closer and closer to the time of their deaths, and realize that the replays and their times together may be coming to an end.

Frankly it sounds much brainier than we thought, with some thematic territory that brings to mind a certain Christopher Nolan movie from earlier this year. But that said, Affleck's involvement might be a bit of a way off. He recently met with Smilovic and producers Rich and Elaine Goldsmith Thomas, and provided new notes so another pass at the script could be done. And certainly this isn't the only project crossing his desk; he's currently re-writingthe New York Yankees wife-swap pic "The Trade" with Casey Affleck and that may become a directorial project as well.

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