Ben Affleck to Direct Matt Damon in Mob Movie Based on the Life of Whitey Bulger

Ben Affleck to Direct Matt Damon in Mob Movie Based on the Life of Whitey Bulger

Oct 24, 2011

It's been a good while since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon last teamed up, but now it looks like the old friends are returning to some familiar ground together -- making another Boston-set movie that's tied (in some ways) to The Departed, which Damon also starred in. According to Damon (via a new interview with GQ), he will star as the former godfather of the Irish Mob, Mickey Bulger, in a new film to be directed by Ben Affleck for Warner Bros., where the two have a production company based. You may be familiar with the name Whitey Bulger since he was just recently caught after being on the run for 16 years and it was all over the news. Bulger was also the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed.

Like Nicholson's character, the mob kingpin was also a longtime informant for the FBI, which helped him continue to conduct business without getting in trouble. However, in 1994 he was tipped off by his FBI handler (who was the basis for Damon's character in The Departed) that he was about to be arrested, and so Bulger fled -- hiding out for 16 years with his girlfriend in California, where he was eventually arrested this past June at the age of 81. In the new film, which will be written by Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire), Damon will play Bulger. No word yet on whether Affleck will play his FBI handler. 

No set timeline is in place yet on the film, and Damon admits it hasn't even been announced yet. What has been announced are two other Bulger-related projects -- one from Departed producer Graham King -- which Damon hopes will go away once their film becomes official. In order for that to happen, Affleck and Damon may have to shoot it sooner rather than later, and with Affleck tapped to direct an adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand -- and Damon working on his own directorial debut about "a salesman who goes to this small town and how the salesman is changed by his experience there" -- we're not quite sure when they'll be able to squeeze this one in.

What do you think about Affleck and Damon returning to Boston for another go-around with the criminal underworld?

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