After Ben Affleck dons the cape and cowl as the next Batman, he’s getting back to what he (arguably) does best: directing movies. He’s writing, producing, directing, and starring in a film called Live By Night, which is based on an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel. (Lehane also wrote the novel Gone Baby Gone, which was the basis for Affleck’s well-received feature directorial debut.) Like Argo, Live By Night is another period piece – but this one takes place during the Prohibition era.
Here’s the synopsis of the book from Amazon:
The story might sound a bit familiar: A cop’s son falls in with bad guys and becomes one. But in Lehane’s hands, the Prohibition-era tale of Joe Coughlin’s rise to criminal power is both fresh and nuanced, packed with guns, booze, and babes as it roars from Boston to Tampa to Cuba. As Coughlin crosses deeper into the dark side–among those who “live by night and dance fast”–he provokes the question that sustains this propulsive narrative: Can a man be a good mobster and a good person at the same time? Incredibly, Lehane, who becomes more masterful with each book, has us rooting for Coughlin even as he slowly becomes the kind of monster mobster he once reviled and rebelled against.
Affleck is playing Coughlin, and now Deadline reports that three ladies have been added to the cast. Sienna Miller (Stardust, Layer Cake) will play Emma, the girlfriend of Coughlin’s mobster boss who also catches his eye. (Sounds like Emma Stone in Gangster Squad, or practically every other femme fatale in film noir history.) Zoe Saldana will play Graciella Suarez, a woman Coughlin meets when he gets deep into the organized crime scene in Tampa, Florida. And Elle Fanning (Super 8) will play Loretta Figgis, a trouble-prone aspiring actress and daughter of the sheriff.
Miller has been steadily working for the past few years but hasn’t made much of an impact in anything recently, and a quick glance at her IMDb page indicates that that’s about to change. It looks like she’s going to be in a number of high profile films over the next couple of years, and this one sounds like another winner to me. Saldana is coming off the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, while Fanning had a big year starring opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent.
Live By Night hits theaters on October 7th, 2016, about seven months after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives. Are you looking forward to seeing Affleck get back behind the camera?
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