Ben Affleck first sat in the director's chair for an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel Gone Baby Gone, a small-scale thriller about a private investigator looking into the disappearance of a little girl in Boston. Since then his films (The Town and Argo) have each been slightly larger in scale than the one before, and it wasn't long before Affleck's name started getting rumored for some rather huge projects, most noticeably Justice League. If you've been wanting to see the actor-director branch out to bigger budget Hollywood movies, you're going to have to wait a little longer: Affleck's next film will be an adaptation of Lehane's novel Live by Night.
Affleck was first attached to the novel October of last year, after it first hit shelves, but now it's confirmed that he'll write, direct, star and produce the film for Warner Bros. According to the Amazon description of the book, Live by Night is set during the roaring '20s and tells "the riveting story of one man’s rise from Boston petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner." That's pretty far in scale and tone from Justice League, and if you ask us, that's a great thing. We love that Affleck is continuing to attach himself to smart films for adults instead of just cashing in his considerable Hollywood cache for a safe, blockbuster franchise.
And in similarly interesting, but totally unrelated news, Martin Scorsese has cast Andrew Garfield in Silence, an adaptation of a Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo that the Goodfellas director has apparently been trying to get off the ground for over 20 years. On the one hand, it's kind of a bummer that it takes someone as immensely talented and respected as Martin Scorsese two decades to get a movie a green light, but on the other hand, the plot description makes it pretty obvious why this one isn't a sure bet.
Silence is about a 17th century priest from Portugal who travels to Japan to seek out his mentor who has reportedly turned his back on the Christian church. And if the subject matter doesn't scream blockbuster waiting to happen, the film will also be made mostly in Japanese. All of those things have us excited -- hell, Silence had us at Socrsese -- but it's understandable why no studio has wanted to pull the trigger on an American-made movie about a Portugese priest who has a crisis of faith in Japan in the 1600s.
Someone is taking that leap, though, as Variety is reporting that Scorsese has not only landed financing for the film, but is set to start filming it in June of 2014. Andrew Garfield will be playing the mentor-seeking priest, while Ken Watanabe will be playing his Japanese translator.