Ben Affleck eyes Miramax’s ‘Arizona’

Drama is potential directing vehicle for actor

Miramax Films has begun development on “Arizona,” a fact-based drama that is being shaped as a potential directing vehicle for Ben Affleck.

Pic is based on a true story that began with the death of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic. In 1976, Bolles was killed in a car bomb explosion as he was investigating the infiltration of organized crime into state government.

Bolles was a co-founder of a group called the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), whose members rallied to his cause shortly after his death, completing the work that Bolles had begun.

Miramax has hired Sheldon Turner to write the script and Sean Bailey to produce. Cori Stern will exec produce.

The “Arizona” project is in a nascent stage, and Miramax had tried to make a rights deal with IRE but will likely proceed with facts on the case that are in the public domain.

Affleck made his directing debut last year on “Gone Baby Gone.”

Turner scripted “The Longest Yard” and was the first scribe on an adaptation of the George Kirn novel “Up in the Air,” which Jason Reitman has rewritten and will direct with George Clooney starring.

Bailey is Affleck’s former partner in LivePlanet and the producer of Disney’s “Tron” sequel.