Casey Affleck Lands First Post-Oscar Role in ‘Stoner’ With Blumhouse, Joe Wright

Casey Affleck

Following an Oscar victory for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” Casey Affleck has found his next film.

Affleck is set to star in “Stoner,” directed by Joe Wright, and produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.

Cohen Media Group (CMG) and Film4 will team with Blumhouse on the film.

Andrew Bovell will adapt the script based on the novel of the same name by John Williams. The movie will follow the life of William Stoner, a dirt-poor farmer turned academic, who emerges as an unlikely existential hero while making his way through the first half of the 20th Century.

“Because the novel is so beautiful but not well-known, fans of ‘Stoner’ feel like they’re in a secret club. I’m so excited that Casey, Joe and Andrew have come aboard to help expand this club’s membership,” said Blum, who optioned the book in 2011. “This quintessentially American work is being brought to the screen by a terrific international team and we’re confident their combined perspectives will add rich layers to this moving story.”

Blum (Blumhouse), Charles S. Cohen (CMG) and Daniel Battsek (Film4) are producing the film with Ethan Hawke serving as an executive producer. Battsek and Blum brought the project to Film4 for development during Battsek’s time as president of CMG, so he retains a producer credit on this one occasion, on what has long been a passion project.

Affleck had been weighing a handful of projects since winning his Oscar for “Manchester by the Sea.” The actor was most recently seen in David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” and also has “The Old Man and the Gun” bowing this year. He is repped by WME.

After trying his hand at studio tentpoles with “Pan,” Wright is getting back into doing more prestige pics that fit in his wheelhouse like previous acclaimed films such as “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice.” Later this fall he has the Winston Churchill film “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman as the British statesman. He is repped by CAA.

For Blum, who is better known for his micro-budget thrillers including “Split” and “Get Out,” the movie marks his first big play at an Oscar play since “Whiplash.” He also produced the coming of age drama “Lowriders,” which opened earlier this year.

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  1. Arthur Mitchell says:

    A “Stoner” movie cannot succeed commercially. The novel’s not popular for the same reason a movie will fail. A movie of a long, slow read where the raison d’etre is the novel’s style of presentation in building the depth of a character’s failure, and disappointments over many years,which is overdrawn and at times close to boring in its numbing effects, will be doomed as a movie, even with the best lead in the world playing the part.

  2. Perfect way to get me to never see your movie. Respect your lead character so little that it’s ok to cast him with Casey Affleck…

  3. Sheila says:

    Perfect casting! Already I’m looking forward to this movie.

  4. Bill B. says:

    After Manchester, I look forward to his next venture, though that is going to be a hard one to top or even get close to equaling.

  5. He should star in the movie about his life–a woman-hating abuser who should have done jail time for sexual harassment. He can include his bro in law Joaquin Phoenix in the cast. Both are nasty POS.

  6. This sounds like an excellent team effort for this film. I need to research and learn more about this story, but I’m absolutely intrigued to view it.

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