Ben Affleck’s busy at the moment, as he’s portraying middle-aged Bruce Wayne in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is currently in the midst of production), but the Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker already has plans to get back into the director’s seat after he’s done. The next project on Affleck’s agenda is Live by Night, a film adaptation of the period/crime novel by Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River and Shutter Island) that will feature Affleck as the writer, the helmsman, and, as it were, the star.
Deadline is reporting that Affleck has found stars to play the three female leads in his new Lehane book-turned movie (the second he’ll have directed after Gone Baby Gone). The list includes Sienna Miller – who will appear in two already buzzed-about 2014 awards season contenders during the months ahead (namely, Foxcatcher and American Sniper) – along with Zoe Saldana (who can currently be seen on the big screen playing Gamora in the Marvel hit Guardians of the Galaxy), and Elle Fanning (Maleficent) – who snagged a role said to have been “particularly coveted.”
Miller will be costarring in Live by Night as Emma, a woman who falls in love with protagonist Joe Coughlin (Affleck) – the son of a Boston Police captain in the 1920s – early on in the story, despite being the girlfriend of Joe’s mobster boss. Saldana is playing Graciella, a woman who shows up later in the story when Joe’s rising career as a member of the Prohibition-era criminal underworld sees him travel to Florida. Last but not least, Fanning also plays a key role in the narrative (eventually), as Loretta – the daughter of a sheriff and an aspiring actress who, as Deadline simply puts it, “gets into trouble.”
Affleck went international with his Best Picture Oscar-winner Argo, but Live by Night will bring him back to his roots in Boston – the backdrop for his first two directorial efforts, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, as well as the setting for his Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting script (co-written by Matt Damon, of course). There ares still some key differences between Live by Night and Affleck’s past Boston crime stories – such as the historical setting and how the story ultimately takes place in multiple places on the U.S. east coast (as mentioned before).
Live by Night was delayed by a year from its originally-scheduled release date, due to Affleck’s Batman V Superman commitment – and it’s not clear yet just how Justice League will fit into his upcoming work schedule. By now, however, it has been well-established that Affleck is a talented storyteller and filmmaker; meaning, Live by Night ought to turn out to be a solid period crime genre tale, at the least. The caliber of the supporting cast that Affleck’s assembled for the movie is testament enough to that, on its own.
Live by Night opens in U.S. theaters on October 7th, 2016.