Ben Affleck hasn’t directed a feature film since 2012’s Argo, but he is now finally back behind the camera as we speak. After winning the Best Picture Oscar for the 70s-set thriller, Affleck quickly began putting together his follow-up project, Live by Night. The crime drama is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, which takes place in Boston during the 1920s and follows the rise of one man from petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner.
But as Affleck dropped out of Warner Bros.’ Focus to zero in on getting Live by Night ready to shoot in 2013, a couple of things happened: 1. He was offered the opportunity to work with David Fincher on Gone Girl and 2. He was asked to play Batman. Affleck said “yes” to both, pushing Live by Night off of its targeted December 25, 2015 release date and putting the project on hold for the time-being.
Well, Affleck’s commitment as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now complete, and while he’s also considering directing a standalone Batman movie in addition to reprising his role as the caped crusader in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which starts filming next spring, it appears that he was done putting Live by Night off any longer. The actor/filmmaker tweeted a photo from set today marking the first day of production, and boy is it exciting to know that this thing is finally in front of cameras.
In addition to co-writing, producing, and directing, Affleck is starring in Live by Night alongside Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, and Chris Cooper. Fascinatingly, he’s continuing his trend of working with incredible cinematographers (John Toll on Gone Baby Gone, Robert Elswit on The Town, Rodrigo Prieto on Argo) by having Quentin Tarantino’s longtime lenser Robert Richardson onboard as director of photography for this latest feature.
Warner Bros. has already set a broad 2017 release date for the film, but I’d be surprised if it fell anywhere outside the fall corridor. Who knows, maybe he’ll be deep in prep for a Batman movie at that point. Right now, I’m elated to see that Live by Night is finally going forward.
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 28, 2015