Ben Affleck back behind the camera with The Town

Just about one year ago, Ben Affleck dumbfounded moviegoers and critics alike with a breathtaking adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Gone Baby Gone. But since then, he hasn’t done a whole lot. He has a role in the super-sized ensemble romcom He’s Just Not That Into You (due around Valentine’s Day), in what can’t be an exceptionally large role; he replaced Edward Norton opposite Russell Crowe (replacing Brad Pitt) in Kevin MacDonald’s upcoming political thriller State of Play (due in April); and he just started shooting Mike Judge’s Extract.

But the news I’ve been waiting for about Affleck is when he was finally getting back behind the director’s chair — and, finally, we at least have a title (if not a targeted released date): The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that he’s set to direct and star in an adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s Prince of Thieves (retitled The Town, for obvious enough reasons), but not before getting back behind a computer to rewrite the script, which was first handled by Peter Craig and then polished by Hogan himself.

The Town, and Prince of Thieves before it, is a “dark heist-romance hybrid” that involves “a high-tension love triangle between a female bank manager, a longtime thief who stole more than her heart and an equally smitten FBI agent trying to bust the crook and his gang before they can pull another big job.” The HR report notes that it and Gone Baby Gone are “similarly toned,” and the Amazon synopsis describes it as “a story of doomed love.” Methinks it ends badly.

I would line up to see anything Affleck directed after Gone Baby Gone, which I greatly enjoyed, despite an eleventh hour twist inherited from the film’s source material, but I’m a little skittish about him being in front of the camera, as well. I like him well enough as an actor, but juggling both roles on a single film is a risky proposition: although — to bring up the spectre of Kevin Costner again — while you get the occasional Dances with Wolves, you also get a lot of Waterworlds.

Related Post: Trailer Watch: Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke, He’s Just Not That Into You (updated)

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 22:58 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News