By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com October 19, 2010 at 2:05AM
While people were expecting a great deal from Ben Affleck's "The Town" after his strong directorial debut on "Gone Baby Gone," and good buzz had been circulating for most of the year, we're not sure that anyone expected it to connect in the way that it did, critically and commercially. The film picked up mostly excellent reviews on its release a month ago, becoming something of a dark horse Oscar contender and has now topped $80 million at the domestic box office, and should cross $100 million by the end of its run. Not too shabby for the kind of modestly-budgeted adult drama that's supposedly box office poison these days...
Affleck's become one of the most sought-after directors in town as a result, but he's not the only person to get a boost from the film. Deadline report that Chuck Hogan, who wrote the novel "Prince of Thieves," which served as the source material for Affleck's picture, has been hired by GK Films (who produced "The Town") to write the script for another Boston-set crime drama.
The writer, who's currently collaborating with Guillermo Del Toro on a trilogy of vampire novels, will focus on the true story of John Martorano, the chief enforcer of the infamous Winter Hill gang. Martorano was a high school football star who turned down college scholarships to stay in Boston and become a mobster, and was thought to be responsible for at least twenty deaths, staying on the run for sixteen years. He eventually served as the government's chief witness in a case that exposed the relationship between the Winter Hill Gang and the FBI.
It all sounds like safe territory for Hogan, and it makes sense that producer Graham King, having won an Oscar for "The Departed" and picking up acclaim with "The Town," would go back for a third spin of the Boston wheel, particularly after acquiring Martorano's life rights on his release from prison. There's no news on any other talent being attached, but we'd very surprised if the script didn't make its way to Affleck's bedside table at some point down the line.