Ben Affleck Directing, Starring in ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ Remake

Ben Affleck Witness for the Prosecution

Ben Affleck is in talks with Fox to direct and star in a remake of courthouse drama “Witness for the Prosecution.”

Christopher Keyser will write the script, and Affleck will produce with Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd and the Agatha Christie estate.

The 1957 adaptation of the Agatha Christie short story, directed by Billy Wilder, starred Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton. It was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Laughton and Best Supporting Actress for Lanchester.

Set in the Old Bailey in London, Laughton plays a lawyer who represents a man (Power) accused of murdering a rich widow who had become enamored with him and made him the main beneficiary of her will.

Affleck directed Oscar best picture winner “Argo” and is in post-production on “Live by Night” for Warner Bros. He’s also directing the standalone Batman movie for Warner Bros.

Affleck is an executive producer on “Justice League” for Warner Bros. and stars in Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant,” which Warner Bros. opens on Oct. 14.

Keyser is the executive producer of the FX series “Tyrant.” He co-created the TV series “Party of Five” and served two terms as president of the Writers Guild of America West between 2011 and 2015.

“Witness for the Prosecution” is the second Fox movie project based on a Christie story. The studio has Kenneth Branaugh directing and starring in a remake of Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” with Leslie Odom Jr. is talks to star.

“Witness for the Prosecution” was remade into a TV movie in 1982, starring Ralph Richardson, Deborah Kerr, Beau Bridges, Donald Pleasence, Wendy Hiller and Diana Rigg.

Affleck is represented by WME, while Keyser  is repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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  1. cadavra says:

    With all the Christie properties that have never been filmed, why do they keep remaking the handful that already have? Sheesh…

  2. tdoa says:

    Does this mean Ben will do it with a British accent? Wanna bet that Anthony Hopkins will be playing the Charles Laughton role.

    • G says:

      I hope not (cause he can’t) and if he’s playing Leonard Vole, he’s an American so he doesn’t have to (thankfully). Hopkins would be great in the Laughton role as would Stephen Fry.

  3. Bobby says:

    I wouldn’t mess with a Billy Wilder movie…

  4. Tully says:

    The lack of originality in remak….. . . . oh, why bother pointing out the obvious. That would only draw attention to my lack of originality.

  5. BillUSA says:

    If it keeps him out of the Batsuit, then I’m fine with it.

  6. G says:

    I’m going to say the same thing I said when I heard Ben-Hur was going to be remade… You shouldn’t tamper with perfection.

  7. Jack Mathews says:

    Early prediction: Ben’s “Witness for the Prosecution” will crack Owen Gleiberman’s “10 Worst Movie Remakes of All TIme” (in this issue) as soon as it opens.

  8. mandymarie20 says:

    So Ben Affleck is going to ruin my favorite film . . . great. Who on Earth could fill the shoes of Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Elsa Lanchester, etc? I know Hollywood has always remade films, but the glut of remakes is disturbing. ‘Witness’ is iconic.

    • Imzadi says:

      How can it “ruin” your favorite movie? And it’s not a remake of the movie, but a new adaptation. Nothing wrong with that. If it’s good, great. If not, everybody will forgot about it an move on.

    • EricJ says:

      Well, Ralph Richardson did, in an ’82 TV version, with Beau Bridges, Diana Rigg and Wendy Hiller filling Tyrone, Marlene and Elsa’s shoes.
      Is Affleck a better actor than Beau Bridges?–C’mon, you can’t seriously be Bat-gunning for Ben THAT much…

      • mandymarie20 says:

        A television film is quite different from a motion picture. They have to give people a reason to go out and see it. And Ralph Richardson and Diana Rigg are amazing, so I’m sure she did fabulous.

    • johnjacob says:

      All of the films Affleck has directed have been certified hits, I don’t think we should count it out just yet.

      • mandymarie20 says:

        I personally haven’t enjoyed them. I know they are considered good by some, but the only film involving Ben Affleck where I haven’t been totally taken out of the film by his performance is ‘Good Will Hunting’, and that was 20 years ago. I enjoy ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love’ but his performances are usually so jarring to me I end up liking the films In Spite of his performances – not because of them. And ‘Argo’ was ‘just o.k.’ to me (And yes, I know most people adore it).

    • mandymarie20 says:

      Affleck is no Tyrone Power

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