Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Matt Damon & Ben Affleck Team For Whitey Bulger Biopic By 'Boardwalk Empire' Writer Terence Winter

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 24, 2011 at 5:18AM

Casey Affleck To Co-StarGranted, they've got some competition for this one, but you can bet Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have taken the lead on getting a biopic on famed Boston mobster Whitey Bulger onto the big screen.
2

Casey Affleck To Co-Star



Granted, they've got some competition for this one, but you can bet Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have taken the lead on getting a biopic on famed Boston mobster Whitey Bulger onto the big screen.

Earlier this year Bulger—on the FBI’s top ten Most Wanted list for the past few decades—burst onto the headlines after he was finally arrested after years in hiding in California. The head of the notorious Boston outfit the Winter Hill gang, Bulger ruled with an iron fist, stacking up 21 bodies in addition to numerous other charges including racketeering. The great irony here of course, is that Bulger was at one time an informant for the FBI and his agent/handler John J. Connolly had initially tipped him off that the feds were closing in. It's a great story, so no surprise that with not even six months since Bulger was put behind bars, there are three projects in development: producer Graham King has something brewing based on the rights purchased from the Winter Hill Gang's chief enforcer, John Martorano; "Twilight" actor Peter Facinelli is producing an adaptation of Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas’ book, “Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob” and writer Russell Gerwitz (“Inside Man”) is penning the thriller “Black Mass” for “Black Swan” producer Brian Oliver. But it's Damon and Affleck who will certainly have the heat now and of course, being Beantown boys themselves, it's a no brainer that the pair would have an interest in doing a movie about the man.

"We're doing a Whitey Bulger movie," Damon told GQ. "Warner's got it for us." Updated: Deadline says Casey Affleck will have a supporting role alongside Damon.

WB has been a haven for both Damon and Affleck in recent years. Damon has made nine movies at the studio in the last decade, while Affleck is their newest directorial golden boy, helming "The Town" and currently "Argo" for them, as well as recently jumping to the front of queue of the gestating adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand." And if you need even more reason to get excited, "The Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire" scribe Terence Winter is writing the screenplay. The plan is for Damon to star and Affleck to direct, but the project is still in early stages and the former isn't quite sure who he would even play at this point.

"If it's a straight biopic, we'll do it over a period of time. But it's always a question of what part of the story do you tell, and biopics are always a little cumbersome," Damon said. "So do we find another way in? We're still figuring it out." So why even bother getting the word out early? It's a power play of sorts, as Damon is well aware of the other projects in development and he hopes quite simply they'll fade to the background once they hear of this studio backed production with heavyweight talent already on board.

"There are a couple of competing movies and I don't think it's been announced yet that we're doing it," Damon said. "But the sooner it's announced the better, just because everyone else will back off, hopefully. I'm really excited about it."

Of course, both Damon and Affleck are pretty much busy until at least late 2012. Affleck is shooting "Argo" and Damon will be lensing his directorial debut (also set up at WB) next year in addition to starring in Steven Soderbergh's "Behind The Candelabra." The duo also have the New York Yankees wife swap pic "The Trade" knocking about, but Damon acknowledges that while they still want to do it, the recent legal hassles have slowed down development.

So add this to pile of stuff Damon and Affleck may do, but don't expect it anytime soon. But it's an exciting prospect nonetheless, and a big screen tale with enormous potential. And while we doubt it will slow any of those other competing versions down, Hollywood is no stranger to telling the same story a few different ways.

This article is related to: Actors, Film Studios, Casey Affleck, Warner Bros


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates