Ben Affleck Will Direct and Star in an Adaptation of 'Live by Night'
Just as the buzzed about thriller Argo hits theaters today, director Ben Affleck is already locking down his next gig behind the camera. THR has word that The Town and Gone, Baby, Gone filmmaker is in talks to write, direct and star in an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel Live by Night, a Prohibition Era set story that takes place in Affleck's old stomping grounds of Boston. The film will follow a young man who rebels against his police officer father in favor of becoming a career criminal during the roaring 20s when liquor, guns, money and women mean everything. Affleck will also produce the adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Here's a more detailed synopsis of Lehane's novel:
Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.
Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.
But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one—neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover—can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.
Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.
It's not clear if DiCaprio might also get involved in front of the camera, but it seems unlikely as he's quite busy as a producer and actor most of the time. In addition, it's not clear if this will be Affleck's next project to follow Argo. Affleck is also attached to a new take on The Stand at Warner Bros. as well as a remake of the French thriller Tell No One. Either way, Affleck says that the film after his next picture will likely be the gestating project with Matt Damon about gangster Whitey Bulger. I guess we'll have to wait and see where Affleck lands after Argo hits the box office this weekend and prepares for the Oscar race.