By The Playlist | The Playlist December 26, 2011 at 2:46PM
Plus Clean, Hi-Res Images of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' 'The Hobbit' & 'Gangster Squad'
To quote Matt Damon in a recent episode of KCRW's The Business, after the Bennifer flap of the early aughts, his "hetero lifemate" Ben Affleck had to work twice as hard to frame his name back into a respectable part of the film industry.
"He was very sober about what it meant for his career," Damon said. "He knew he was going to go into the penalty box for an undetermined amount of time. The worst place you can be," he added. "We had to write our way into the game," Damon said about their Oscar-winning screenplay for "Good Will Hunting." "And he had to do it again. He directed 'Gone Baby Gone' and still couldn't get out of jail... and he finally did 'The Town,' and he wrote, directed and starred in it just because it was the best acting job he could get. And the movie was great and now it looks like he's back on the list."
Thanks Matt. That sums it up rather well. Affleck is definitely back on the list. Hell, after "The Town," a rather smitten Warner Bros. started asking him if he'd be interested in the new "Superman" film. Unfortunately for genre-heads, they're stuck with Zack Snyder as Affleck passed. Instead he chose to take a Black List script, "Argo," about a CIA "exfiltration" specialist who concocted a risky plan to free six Americans hiding out in Tehran during the Iranian revolution.
Here's the official "Argo" synopsis:
Based on true events, "Argo" chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis--the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.
Due in theaters on September 14 (right around the same time as "The Town" hit in 2010), your first official still from the movie is above. The film has quite the cast, and stars Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks, and Taylor Schilling. Expect this one to hit the Toronto International Film Festival too.
You've seen the trailer, surely, but here's your first official photo from Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Killer," his follow-up to 2008's "Valkyrie." A 3D picture that lands in theaters on June 15, the action-adventure film stars Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson and Ewan McGregor. Now honestly, a tentpole starring Nicholas Hoult, who audiences probably know best from "X-Men: First Class" or "About a Boy," and the second most well-known actor in the cast being Ewan McGregor? Obviously, Warner Bros. is expecting the effects and the spectacle to be the star of this film, or the focal point that sells it to audiences, but they might have their work cut out for them. The good news is WB isn't going head to head with any tentpoles that weekend (at least so far) and the main competition for this film will be Adam Sandler's "I Hate You, Dad," but the comedian is not someone to be sneezed at when it comes to box-office performance. To be frank, if this expensive adventure film is one of the summer's biggest casualties, we won't be surprised, but if they market it properly to kids, perhaps it'll have legs.
Here's the official synopsis: "Jack the Giant Killer" tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend--and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Meanwhile, below, some unadulterated and high-resolution shots of pictures you've already seen from "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Gangster Squad," starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn, and Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit."