It’s been three years since Ben Affleck stepped behind the camera to direct his Oscar-winning “Argo,” and it now looks like he’s one step closer to getting back in the director’s chair.
Sources tell Variety that Warner Bros. has given the greenlight to Affleck’s next directing gig, “Live by Night,” with plans to begin production this November.
Affleck has intended to helm the pic, based on Dennis Lehane’s Prohibition-era crime novel, for some time, but starring roles in “Gone Girl” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” in which he will play the Caped Crusader, have delayed the process. Insiders say he is now ready to tackle the venture. The first feature Affleck directed, 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone,” was also based on a Lehane novel.
Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana are still attached to star, with Affleck also toplining and producing along with Jennifer Todd through their Pearl Street banner, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran through their Appian Way banner.
Although he has several films in development, none is ready for production and Affleck had not committed to another film since he appeared in “The Accountant,” which filmed last spring.
Known for being meticulous during the pre- and post-production process, he will be able to take the next four months to tweak the script and not rush through the rest of the casting process before production is set to start.
WB had slated the film for Oct. 7, 2016, and it’s not known at this time if the November start date will force the release date to move.
Affleck will have a busy 2016, as he will be seen in both “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and action thriller “The Accountant,” which will bow in January.
He is repped by WME.