Ben Affleck Could Direct Revolutionary War Movie 'Bunker Hill' Next
by Ben Pearson
March 18, 2013
Ang Lee may have won the Best Director Oscar for last year's Life of Pi, but it was Ben Affleck that was the golden boy of this year's awards season. The Boston native's Argo racked up tons of accolades on the way to its Best Picture prize, leaving many wondering how long it would be before Affleck himself takes home the Best Director statue. Now he could have his sights set on that very goal, as Deadline reports Affleck and Matt Damon's production company Pearl Street Films has secured the screen rights to author Nathaniel Philbrick's upcoming book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution for Affleck to potentially direct.
Here's the official synopsis of the book Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution from Amazon:
Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.
Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a thirty-three year old physician named Joseph Warren who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill. Others in the cast include Paul Revere, Warren’s fiancé the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his more bellicose successor William Howe, who leads the three charges at Bunker Hill and presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control.
The last high-profile film about the American Revolutionary War was Roland Emmerich's The Patriot back in 2000, so it seems as if enough time has passed where we can take another look back at the defining moments of this country's inception. It's also worth pointing out that this movie - if the scheduling works out - would be yet another opportunity for Affleck to explore the city of Boston on film, as the events of the legendary Boston Tea Party serve as fuel for this story's fire.
The screenplay will be written by Oscar winner Chris Terrio, who previously worked with Affleck on Argo. With tensions rising between the colonists and the British, it's easy to see how Terrio could utilize the same sense of suspense that worked so well in Argo to great effect telling this story, so we're excited to see how this plays out. Affleck is currently hard at work on Live By Night, his next directorial project that he's also writing, starring in, and producing. That one is also set in his hometown, so it seems like the multi-talented hyphenate is settling back in Stateside after his experience abroad filming Argo. Sound good?
Original teaser image used was from a painting by Don Troiani from HistoricalArtPrints.com.