Ben Affleck’s schedule just freed up a bit over the next year thanks to Warner Bros. reshuffling the release dates of a pair of his non-superhero films. The first one to get the shift is Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant – an action-thriller centering on a mild-mannered accountant by day, lethal assassin by night – which moves from the odd slot of January 29, 2016 to October 7, 2016. The second film, however, gets the shaft. This is not the first time that Affleck’s plans for the adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night have been delayed, but the fact that it has been moved from the October 7, 2016 date to an undated slot in 2017 does not bode well.
THR reported on the release date shifts for Affleck’s non-superhero films set up at Warner Bros. Before we get into the titles that have been moved, let’s just keep in mind that Affleck’s slated to star as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; and Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019. Busy guy.
At one point, we thought perhaps Affleck would be able to start filming Live by Night this November after WB greenlit the production, which came along with the news that Affleck would be directing a Batman standalone film which he’s co-writing with Geoff Johns after the Lehane adaptation. It’s unfortunate that Affleck’s passion project – he adapted the Prohibition Era crime novel and planned to direct and star in the picture – has continually been kicked down the road. At one point, Affleck himself even delayed production in order to star in O’Connor’s The Accountant, so it’s actually a blessing to see the latter film has been bumped back to a more box office-friendly fall date. As for Live by Night, it sounds like WB and Affleck think that there’s enough time in the summer of 2016 between Batman-related promotions to finally knock this out. Fingers crossed!