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Casey Affleck to Direct Western ‘Far Bright Star,’ Joaquin Phoenix to Star

Casey Affleck is directing “Far Bright Star,” with Joaquin Phoenix set to star.

Affleck is also producing the movie with John Powers Middleton as the first work to emerge from the Affleck/Middleton Project. Variety first reported the teaming of Affleck and Middleton in May, 2014, designed to afford Affleck the opportunity to focus more on producing, writing and directing.

Middleton is an executive producer on Good Universe’s “Oldboy” and “The Voices” and a co-producer on “The Lego Movie.”

“Far Bright Star” is based on Robert Olmstead’s novel, adapted by Damien Ober. Phoenix will portray a cavalryman leading a ragtag group of young men on a hunt in 1916 for Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. When most of the group die in an attack, he’s left struggling to survive in the desert.

Affleck, who is married to Phoenix’s sister Summer, worked with the actor on the 2010 mockumentary “I’m Still Here,” which “announced” his retirement from acting and transition into a career as a hip hop artist. Since then, Phoenix has starred in “The Master,” “Her,” “The Immigrant,” “Inherent Vice” and “Irrational Man.”

Affleck will be seen next in Disney’s Coast Guard thriller “The Finest Hours.”

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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