Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Live by Night, the fourth directorial effort from Ben Affleck and the filmmakers long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Best Picture-winning dramatic thriller Argo. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, the film takes place during Prohibition and stars Affleck as Joe Coughlin, the prodigal son of a Boston police captain who works his way up from bootlegger to notorious Florida gangster. Affleck adapted the screenplay himself and recruited Oscar-winning The Hateful Eight and The Aviator cinematographer Robert Richardson to serve as his director of photography.
We’ve been waiting to see something from Live by Night for a long while now, but I’m happy to say it seems like it was worth the wait. The trailer promises a film that has style and swagger to spare, though I’m curious to see more from the story to help it stand apart from just another crime drama. The period setting certainly helps to establish the world of Live by Night, and it conjures up thoughts of similar films like Lawless, Road to Perdition, and even The Untouchables, if we had seen that latter film from the perspective of Al Capone and his cronies. However audiences ultimately respond to the period drama, it’ll certainly be fun to see Affleck playing a conflicted villain for once. And you can be sure that it’ll be an awards contender, especially since it’s positioned for next year’s ballots thanks to a limited December release.
Watch the first Live by Night trailer below (via Apple). The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Scott Eastwood, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, Anthony Michael Hall, and Chris Messina. Live by Night opens in theaters on January 13, 2017.
“Live by Night” is set in the roaring `20s when Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll. The fiery affair ends in tragedy, setting Joe on a path of revenge, ambition, romance and betrayal that propels him out of Boston and up the ladder of Tampa’s steamy rum-running underworld.